Turkey: Prosecutor seeks to jail politician on espionage

i24NEWS - Reuters

2 min read
Leader of the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) Ali Babacan speaks as he gives a press conference after a meeting at the DEVA party headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, on October 5, 2021.
Adem Altan/AFPLeader of the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) Ali Babacan speaks as he gives a press conference after a meeting at the DEVA party headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, on October 5, 2021.

The indictment alleges Gurcan gave 'confidential information to foreign diplomats in exchange for money'

A prosecutor in Turkey issued an indictment against a founder of a political opposition party, requesting the man be sentenced to 15 to 20 years in prison for espionage charges, state media reported on Thursday.

Metin Gurcan is one of the founders of Turkey’s Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), which was created due to a schism within the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) - a political faction headed by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Gurcan, a defense analyst who helped create DEVA with party leader Ali Babacan, was initially arrested last year on November 29 during an investigation conducted by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.

The indictment, which still requires a court’s approval, alleged that the politician gave “confidential information to foreign diplomats in exchange for money,” according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.

Babacan disputed the politician’s arrest, insisting that Gurcan’s research draws on open sources. He said that the analyst is unable to access confidential state information.

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The DEVA party leader added that the arrest is a political maneuver intended to detract attention from Turkey’s financial woes.

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The value of Turkey’s currency - the Turkish lira - is faltering, alongside support for Erdogan and his AK Party.

Polls indicate Turkey’s president diminished in popularity among those surveyed.