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Former Istanbul Governor Starts His Jail Time in Edirne Prison

Istanbul’s ex-governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu handed himself over to the authorities at the Edirne courthouse on Wednesday in order to start serving his time for helping the Gulen movement, which the Turkish government deems a “terrorist organization.”

Mutlu was sentenced to three years in prison for “knowingly and deliberately helping the group, without being part of its hierarchical structure.”

Following his conviction on February 9, he was released from jail, where he spent 18 months in pre-trial detention.

Mutlu’s sentence was upheld by the Court of Appeals on October 3.

The former governor, who went together with his lawyers to the Edirne courthouse for the execution of his sentence, was taken to the Edirne prison by counterterrorism officers.

Turkey accuses the Gulen movement of being behind the 2016 military coup attempt that rocked the country with a death toll over 200. The government coined the word “FETO”, which stands for “Fethullalist Terrorist Organization”, named after Fethullah Gulen, a Turkish-Islamic preacher based in the United States.

Turkish government has launched a massive crackdown on those with alleged links to the group within the judiciary, army, academic world, police departments, etc. Mutlu’s prosecution came as part of the public servants leg of the criminal lawsuits against FETO.

Mutlu, who served as the governor of Istanbul between 2010-2014, was arrested in August 2016, one month after the coup attempt.

He is also known for his role as a mediator between demonstrators and the government during the Gezi Park protests of 2013, the largest nation-wide civil unrest in the country’s near past.

Mutlu denies having affiliation with the Gulen movement.

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