Turkish prosecutor seeks jail opposition politician for espionage – state media


Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) leader Ali Babacan speaks at a press conference in Ankara, Turkey on October 5, 2021. REUTERS / Cagla Gurdogan / File Photo

Register now for FREE and unlimited access to Reuters.com

Register now

ISTANBUL, January 6 (Reuters) – A Turkish prosecutor calls for a prison sentence of up to 20 years against Metin Gurcan, founder of the Turkish Opposition Party for Democracy and Progress (DEVA), for military and political espionage , the official media announced on Thursday. .

At the end of November, Gurcan was jailed pending trial for his contacts with foreign diplomats based in Ankara, the Turkish capital.

Gurcan, a retired member of the Turkish armed forces, helped establish DEVA with Ali Babacan, former deputy prime minister and minister to President Tayyip Erdogan. Gurcan is also a defense analyst.

Register now for FREE and unlimited access to Reuters.com

Register now

In an indictment, the Ankara Attorney General’s Office accused Gurcan of obtaining confidential documents for the purpose of political or military espionage, state agency Anadolu said on Wednesday.

The indictment, which must be approved by a court, says it has been determined that Gurcan has held meetings with representatives of foreign states and includes photos of the meetings, Anadolu added.

Babacan said Gurcan’s work is based on open sources and he has no access to state secrets.

He also said the holding of Gurcan was an attempt to distract from the country’s economic crisis, marked by the currency falling to all-time lows.

The pound lost 44% of its value last year, pushing inflation in December to 36%, the highest during the reign of 19-year-old Erdogan.

Polls show support for DEVA, founded in March 2020, of around 2%, while support for Erdogan and his AK party is at its lowest for several years. The Turks cited economic mismanagement as one of their main concerns.

DEVA and other opposition parties have called for urgent elections over what they say is mismanagement of the economy, but the government said presidential and general elections will be held as scheduled in June. 2023.

Register now for FREE and unlimited access to Reuters.com

Register now

Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen Editing by Daren Butler, William Maclean

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


Comments are closed.