Businessman jailed over Gülen links dies of cancer after his belated release from prison


Date posted: May 14, 2021

Businessman İsmet Torun, 53, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer during his 38-month incarceration on terrorism charges, died in Ankara on Monday after his release from prison.

Torun, one of many who fell victim to Turkey’s relentless post-coup purge, was arrested on April 26, 2017 due to his alleged links to the Gülen movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen.

He was sentenced to seven years in prison by the Ankara 26th High Criminal Court and had been in Sincan Prison in Ankara for 38 months until he was released in June due to his illness.

Since then, Torun had been receiving treatment at Dışkapı Yıldırım Beyazıt Hospital in Ankara.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been targeting followers of the Gülen movement since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, his family members and his inner circle.

Dismissing the investigations as a Gülenist coup and conspiracy against his government, Erdoğan designated the movement as a terrorist organization and began to target its members.

Erdoğan intensified the crackdown on the movement following a coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that he accused Gülen of masterminding. Gülen and the movement strongly deny involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activity.

Human rights activists and opposition politicians have frequently criticized authorities for not releasing critically ill prisoners so they can seek proper treatment.

report released by the Ankara-based Human Rights Association (İHD) in April said there are at least 1,605 ailing inmates in the country’s prisons, 604 of whom are in critical condition. The İHD said it estimates the number of sick inmates to be higher and calls on the government to release them and delay their sentences as the coronavirus pandemic poses a further threat to their medical well-being.

According to a statement from Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on February 20, a total of 622,646 people have been the subject of investigation and 301,932 have been detained, while 96,000 others have been jailed due to alleged links to the Gülen movement since the failed coup. The minister said there are currently 25,467 people in Turkey’s prisons who were jailed on alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Source: Stockholm Center for Freedom , May 12, 2021


Related News

Gülen extends condolences to MHP over official’s death

Prominent Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who also inspired the faith-based Hizmet movement, issued a message of condolence to Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) officials regarding the death of the party’s media adviser, Cengiz Yücel Akyıldız, who was killed during an attack outside a party office on Sunday.

Ex-soccer player’s resignation a turning point for the AKP

“Those who want to establish a parallel structure alongside the state, those who have infiltrated into the state institutions … We will come into your lairs, and we will lay out these organizations within the state,” PM Erdogan said on Dec. 21. Gulen responded in kind via a video message: “Those who don’t see the thief but go after those who chase the thief … May God bring fire to their homes.”

Erdogan’s Journey – Conservatism and Authoritarianism in Turkey

What happened to Recep Tayyip Erdogan? The Turkish president came to power in 2003 promising economic and political liberalization. But under his rule, Turkey has instead moved in a profoundly illiberal, authoritarian direction, which some feared was Erdogan’s true agenda, given his background in Islamist politics. Rather, Erdogan has become something more akin to a traditional Middle Eastern strongman: consolidating personal power, purging rivals, and suppressing dissent.

Erdoğan has to respect civil society

ŞAHİN ALPAY Colleagues and friends ask me, “What is the reason for the feud between the government and the Gülen movement and between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Fethullah Gülen?” This is, briefly, my response. In Turkey the demand for education is very high. Universities are unable to meet the demand and there are […]

UK court rejects ‘politically motivated’ Turkish extradition request of businessman

John Zani, district judge at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court, declined Turkey’s request, expressing “serious reservations about the current state of the rule of law in Turkey.”

600 complaints filed alleging slander, libel against Gülen

A total of 600 complaints have been filed against those who have slandered and libeled Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen since a major corruption and bribery investigation became public on Dec. 17 of last year.

Latest News

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

Grondahl: Turkish community strong in wake of threats from back home

Turkish-Kyrgyz educator’s abduction shows Ankara’s ruthless disregard for law: HRW

Kenya: Investigate Deportation of Turkish National

In Case You Missed It

Fethullah Gülen’s response to the ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis

Gülen’s lawyer: Pro-gov’t columnist’s claims on religious directorate ‘disgusting scenario’

Criticism and risks

Fethullah Gülen writes for Politico Europe: Muslims have a unique responsibility in fighting terror

Gov’t steps up campaign against Hizmet via terrorism accusations

4 Turkish charity organizations on OCHA’s Nepal list

Turkish school student project among global finalists of 2015 Google Science Fair

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News