Istanbul Police launch operation against neo-nationalist group ahead of Ergenekon hearing

Istanbul Police launch operation against neo-nationalist group ahead of Ergenekon hearing

Teams from İstanbul Police Department raided premises of the neo-nationalist Turkey Youth Union (TGB) early on Saturday ahead of what is to be the final hearing of the Ergenekon attempted coup d'état trial on Aug. 5 Today`s Zaman reported.

The TGB, which is the youth branch of the Workers' Party (İP) at a previous hearing of the case broke through police barriers erected at the complex that houses the court building and prison at Silivri, earlier called on their supporters to be present again at the courthouse for what is to be the trial's last day on Aug. 5.

Ergenekon is alleged to be a clandestine network of individuals nested within the state hierarchy that was ultimately aimed at overthrowing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government and some of whose members are currently on trial for multiple counts of murder and causing public disorder.

Police teams are searching the TGB İstanbul branch building as well as houses of some of its administrators, reports said.

İstanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu said on Friday that no audience will be allowed in the courtroom during the next session of the Ergenekon trial on Monday to avoid clashes.

Stating that such a decision was taken due to security measures, Governor Mutlu told reporters that only the defendants, lawyers, members of Parliament and journalists will be given access to the courtroom in Silivri district of İstanbul. The decision is made by the court, Mutlu added.

Stating that any gathering outside the courtroom in Silivri will be considered an unlawful demonstration, Mutlu urged people to obey the call not to gather at the court building. "We want the due process to end in peace," Mutlu pointed out, saying that they are taking security measures against potential protesters from outside of İstanbul.

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