Prosecutors who filed indictments against pro-government media outlets that published reports about an alleged assassination plot against the daughter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have been reassigned, a Turkish daily has reported.
According to the Meydan newspaper, Bakırköy prosecutors Hüseyin Parlakkılıç and Mustafa Gökay, who were responsible for prosecuting crimes committed by the media, filed five indictments on the charges of insult and slander against two pro-government newspapers,Akşam and Güneş, for publishing fabricated Twitter conversations which allegedly indicated a plan to assassinate the president’s daughter Sümeyye Erdoğan.
The prosecutors, against whom the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) has already launched administrative investigations, have been relocated, Meydan reported. While Parlakkılıç was reportedly reassigned to the Bakırköy 6th High Criminal Court, Gökay was reassigned to another bureau that prepares cases at the Bakırköy Courthouse.
The Akşam and Güneş newspapers, both owned by businessman Ethem Sancak, who has close ties to President Erdoğan, ran front-page stories in February based on alleged Twitter messages between Emre Uslu, a journalist who they claimed was twitter whistleblower Fuat Avni, and Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies Umut Oran and Akif Hamzaçebi. The alleged messages between Oran and Uslu discussed an assassination plot targeting Sümeyye Erdoğan that had been ordered by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, according to the two dailies.
Hamzaçebi and Uslu supposedly also discussed a collaboration between the CHP and the “parallel structure” in the run-up to the June 7 parliamentary election, according to the alleged conversations.
The term “parallel structure” was invented and has been frequently used by President Erdoğan to refer to an alleged network of those sympathetic to the Gülen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement, inspired by Gülen, who work within the state bureaucracy, although he later expanded it to refer to the entire movement. Erdoğan has accused the movement of a plot to overthrow his government, a claim the movement has repeatedly denied.