Turkish court approves FETO-linked footballer charges

Suspects, all of whom are former soccer players, accused of being members of a terror organization

Turkish court approves FETO-linked footballer charges

World Bulletin / News Desk

An Istanbul court on Friday accepted an indictment against the “soccer structure” of the Fetullah Terror Organization (FETO), a network accused of instigating Turkey's July 15 military coup plot.

The indictment -- which was prepared by Istanbul Public Prosecutor Mehmet Senay Baygin and submitted to the city’s 23rd High Penal Court -- accused former footballers Ismail Demiriz, Arif Erdem and Ugur Tutuneker of being linked to the FETO terror group.

Prosecutors demanded for up to 15 years in jail for the suspects on charges of “being members of armed terror group”.

The 92-page charge-sheet stated that Demiriz was previously detained while Tutuneker was released under judicial restrictions. Erdem was on the run.    

It also included a statement from footballer Sait Alpsoy, a long-standing imam and a former leading figure of FETO’s sport network.

Alpsoy left the group in 2010 after Fetullah Gulen, the U.S.-based leader the network, delivered a controversial statement over an Israeli army raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara aid flotilla.

According to Alpsoy’s statement, FETO had appointed a responsible person for footballers who invited them to sohbet (periodic gatherings).

The gatherings were started in 2000 and later supported by FETO-linked businessmen, Alpsoy said.

The first hearing in the case will start on Feb. 24 in Istanbul. 

Turkey accuses the FETO terror network of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

According to Turkey’s government, FETO leader Gulen masterminded the July 15 failed coup, which left 248 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Aralık 2016, 17:44