Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin insisted on Tuesday (September 8th) that the Court of Appeals should reverse a decision to launch an investigation against President Abdullah Gul. The corruption charges against Gul were pressed by a court in Sincan, near Ankara, which insisted in May that Gul, though having presidential immunity, should face trial over a case back in the 1990s, when millions of US dollars went missing from his Justice and Development Party’s funds. Ergin told reporters in Ankara that his office has sent a request to terminate the trial. Gul has denied all corruption allegations.
In other news Tuesday, Georgia released the captain of a Turkish vessel who was arrested in August and sentenced to 24 years in prison for sailing illegally in the breakaway region of Abkhazia. Instead of the initial sentence, Mehmet Coskun, 24, received a provisional sentence and a fine. The decision followed a meeting earlier in the day between Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. (Zaman – 09/09/09; Reuters, Anadolu news agency, Xinhua – 08/09/09)