January 21, 2015

Gülen’s lawyer says plot to frame Gülen movement for unsolved murders is in the works

Nurullah Albayrak, the legal representative for Fethullah Gülen, an Islamic scholar in self-imposed exile in the US, said in a statement released on Tuesday that unsolved murders are trying to be heaped upon his client and the Gülen movement, a grassroots initiative inspired by Gülen and also known as the Hizmet movement.

“The defamation campaign against my client is continuing, with the mobilization of all of the resources of the state. Unfortunately, as a reflection of the undemocratic position the country has reached, this process is being undertaken with the logic of a witch hunt,” said Albayrak.

Talking of his client, Albayrak said, “Until last year, it was being said that he [Gülen] should be nominated for a Nobel Prize for his positive contributions to society. Now, the worthless accusations and allegations that are being [said today] will not receive credit in Turkey or abroad.”

Underlining that people are trying to frame his client -- Gülen -- and the Gülen movement for unsolved murders in recent years, Albayrak said the allegations are not explicable with logic and reason. “Contrary to the accusations, my client has never been in any such situation in any era of his life.”

He continued by stating that those who committed the unsolved murders should be put on trial, underlining that Gülen has only ever preached peace, tolerance and brotherhood -- not just for those in Turkey but also for all of humanity.

Albayrak said civil servants responsible for sustaining public order are trying to link police officers accused of leaving bombs on the side of the street in Turkey's southeastern Hakkari province with his client through lies and deception. “These allegations are nothing but unlawful, ruthless slurs,” said Albayrak, who went on to say, “It is understood from these statements that the purpose [of these statements] is not to stop these unsolved murders from happening or find the real perpetrators of the unsolved murders, but to frame people within the [Gülen movement].”

In December, the İstanbul 1st Penal Court of Peace issued an arrest warrant for Gülen and requested that the scholar be extradited from the United States, which is seen as a step toward an Interpol Red Notice and ultimately extradition from the US. However, US laws require that a crime be recognized in both countries' jurisdictions and that the offense not be political in nature.

Albayrak appealed against the decision of the İstanbul 1st Penal Court of Peace to issue an arrest warrant for Gülen, citing that the circumstances for issuing an arrest warrant for his client had not formed.

In his 13-point appeal, Albayrak stated the reasons why both the methods and the fundamentals of the verdict to issue an arrest warrant were unlawful, underlining the fact that the warrant was issued despite the fact that Gülen was never called in for a deposition and the fact that his address is known.

In his appeal, Albayrak cited Article 98 of the Code on Criminal Procedure (CMK), which states that arrest warrants can be issued for suspects who do not come [to give their statements] and those who cannot be reached. Albayrak stated that there has been no such call to Gülen, even though his address is known; Albayrak added that according to bilateral agreements with the US, it is possible for US authorities to take Gülen's testimony at his address if a summons is issued, citing statements taken at Gülen's address in the US in an earlier case in which his client was acquitted.

Published on Today's Zaman, 21 January 2015, Thursday