Lawyer to Turkish opposition leader arrested in Ankara


The lawyer for the leader of Turkey's main opposition party was arrested early Friday over alleged ties to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), a court official has said.

Celal Celik, who represents Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the Republican People's Party (CHP), was arrested at his home in the capital Ankara, the official said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

Celik was detained as part of an investigation by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office into lawyers thought to be linked to FETO, the group led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen that was behind last year's defeated coup in Turkey.

Police are conducting a search of Celik's home and he is due to be transferred to Istanbul, the official added.

Speaking to journalists in the Turkish parliament, CHP leader Kilicdaroglu slammed the arrest.

"The fight made in the name of 'fighting FETO' is just made to support FETO," he said. "This is an abdication of reason; what can I say?"

Kilicdaroglu said his lawyer had resigned from his post as an investigating judge in Turkey's Supreme Court "which was under the control of FETO" at that time.

"He was a man who resigned from there … reacting against the existence of FETO," Kilicdaroglu said.

Celik worked in the Supreme Court between 2008 and 2011.

FETO was behind the July 15, 2016 coup attempt which saw 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured as rogue military units led by alleged FETO officers attempted to seize power.

FETO is also accused of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

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