Turkey on Friday detained a former main opposition party lawmaker over alleged links to the group blamed for the 2016 attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, state media reported.
Istanbul prosecutors ordered the detention of Eren Erdem, an ex-MP for Istanbul from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), over the charge of being “a member of a terror organization”, Anadolu news agency said.
Turkey accuses the movement led by US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen of ordering the failed putsch and calls it the “Fethullah Terrorist Organization”.
Gulen denies any links to the coup attempt.
“I have been detained. I don’t know the reason. I was detained by police outside my home,” Erdem said on Twitter in the early hours of Friday.
Another former CHP MP and journalist, Baris Yarkadas, said on Twitter the Istanbul prosecutor asked for the formal arrest of Erdem during a hearing on Friday morning.
“The date of September 19, 2018, has been given for the hearing in this case… How is it that they did not even see it fit to wait to give a date for the hearing?” Yarkadas said, adding that it cast a “shadow” over the investigation.
There was an earlier case against Erdem in which he faced between nine and a half and 22 years on different charges of “deliberately and willingly helping an armed terror group without being a member”, “disclosing a secret witness” and “violating the secrecy of an investigation”, Anadolu reported.
The charges relate to his time as Karsi newspaper editor-in-chief and the publication of illegal audio recordings leaked to the media by the Gulen movement during the December 2013 graft scandal against key government members and Erdogan’s inner circle.
During the scandal, alleged voice recordings of Erdogan, then-premier, and other senior officials were published online in 2014.