Arrest warrant issued for opposition politician Metin Gürcan hours after release

A Turkish court on Thursday ordered the release of opposition Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) co-founder, Metin Gürcan, pending trial, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported.

Later on Thursday, Ankara 27th High Criminal Court issued a new arrest warrant for the DEVA party official, after the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office objected to his release, it said.

A prominent defence analyst and retired member of the Turkish Armed Forces, Gürcan was arrested on Nov. 29 on charges of “political and military espionage.” The politician denies the charges.

The 46-year-old, who frequently covers developments in the military for news outlets such as Al Monitor, is accused of sharing classified information with foreign diplomats.

DEVA has dismissed the charges against Gürcan as having no legal basis.

Gürcan is one of a number of high-profile names in the country accused of spying. Osman Kavala, a philanthropist and businessman, last month was sentenced to life without chances of parole, was also accused of espionage and seeking to overthrow the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 

Gürcan joined Ali Babacan, a former deputy prime minister in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, in founding DEVA in March of 2020.

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