ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish conglomerate Boydak Holding on Monday rejected allegations against its top executives jailed in an investigation over their links to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, an influential foe of President Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkish police detained the furniture-to-cables group’s chairman Haci Boydak and chief executive Memduh Boydak on Friday and a court ruled on Sunday to keep them in custody as the case against them is prepared, the company said.
They were jailed over accusations of financing what prosecutors described as the “Gulenist terror group”, state-run Anadolu Agency reported. It said two other group executives detained on Friday were released.
“Our legal department is following the process related to these allegations to which our board members are exposed and will make the necessary objections soon,” Boydak said.
“We fully believe the judicial process will be completed soon and our chairman Haci Boydak and CEO Memduh Boydak will return to us and it will become clear they have nothing to do with the allegations targeting them,” the statement said.
Their detention came hours before authorities seized control of the country’s largest newspaper Zaman, ahead of a summit between Turkey and the European Union.
France’s foreign minister said on Monday the decision to seize control of Zaman was “unacceptable” and went against European values.
Erdogan accuses Gulen of conspiring to overthrow the government by building a network of supporters in the judiciary, police and media. Gulen denies the charges. The two men were allies until police and prosecutors seen as sympathetic to Gulen opened a corruption probe into Erdogan’s inner circle in 2013.
Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Janet Lawrence