Ankara Regional Appeal court upheld the sentence given to Gulen’s lawyer, Nurullah Albayrak who is the member of the Ankara Bar Association.
The conviction was based on a petition which Nurullah Albayrak had filed with the General Directorate of Security and some provincial security directorates in July 2014. In the same petition which was dated 9 July 2014 Nurullah Albayrak reportedly urged the law enforcement officers not to comply with illegal orders which could eventually result in their criminal liability, and urged them to only comply with the law.
Upon Albayrak’s petition, an indictment dated 17 September 2015 issued against him with the charge of professional misconduct and he was convicted by Ankara 9th Heavy Penal Court on 29 September 2016 in absentia.
Ankara Regional Appeal court, which had considered the appeal, last week upheld the two-year prison term given by the Ankara 9th Heavy Penal Court. In a separate case, life imprisonment is being sought for Albayrak for leading of an armed terrorist organization.
Since the coup attempt of 2016, 311 Turkish lawyers have been convicted to a total of 1967 years in prison under Turkey’s Anti-Terror Legislation. Most of the lawyers who have been prosecuted are those who allegedly have affiliation with the Gulen Movement, the rest are either leftist or Kurdish lawyers. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reports that the OHCHR has observed a pattern concerning persecution of lawyers representing individuals accused of terrorism offences, where they are associated with their clients political views (or alleged political views) in the discharge of their professional duties and are consequently prosecuted for the same or other related offences of which their clients are being accused.
Lawyer Fethi Un and AbdulkadirAksoy who are former lawyers to Fethullah Gulen were sentenced to 12 and 10,5 years respectively in November 2017 and June 2018 for being members of the armed terrorist organisation.
Mr. Aksoy had acted for Fethullah Gulen between 2002 and 2008, while Mr. Un had represented him between 1990 and 1994.