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Turkish PM Condemns Release of Pro-Gülen Samanyolu TV Chairman and Employee

Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said an Istanbul court "illegally" attempted to release detainees from the Dec. 14 media crackdown, which came as part of what the government describes as the "parallel state" probe.

 Davutoglu's remarks came on Sunday during his AK Party's rally in northeastern city of Gumushane in the Black Sea region.

"They attempted a coup yesterday in jurisdiction," Davutoglu said. "The Penal Court of First Instance, which has no authority whatsoever, took a decision to release the detainees whose cases are ongoing." 

On Dec. 14, a police operation was launched against senior media figures and police officers in 13 provinces across Turkey for allegedly being affiliated with what the government describes as the "parallel state," a purported group of bureaucrats embedded in the country's institutions, including the judiciary and the police.

"They try to say 'we are here and strong as the parallel state.' I call on them from Gumushane. We are here too as the state and the nation. We will not give you the chance to do anything," he said.

"We will not let any setup take over Turkish jurisdiction in any way," Davutoglu added.

Led by U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen, the so-called Gulen movement has been under scrutiny in Turkey. 

Officials linked to the movement are accused of conducting wiretaps of high-profile figures within the Turkish state as well as constructing a "parallel state" to overthrow the elected Turkish government.

On Saturday, the Istanbul 32nd Penal Court of First Instance's judge Mustafa Baser attempted to release Samanyolu Media Group chairman Hidayet Karaca and 75 others, including some police chiefs, in the case. 

Following the decision, Istanbul's 10th Penal Court of Peace declared the decision null and void.

"Some media outlets perseveringly try to create a sense that judicial decisions are not implemented; however, it is a completely unlawful and arbitrary decision made by disregarding duties and authorities," former chief prosecutor Resat Petek said about the issue.

Davutoglu slams CHP, HDP election manifestos about Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate

During his rally in Bayburt and Erzincan on the same day, Davutoglu also slammed the election manifestos of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

"Those who say 'we are going to abolish Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate' will be buried when it comes to election day," said Davutoglu. "They are in a race to say 'we will abolish Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate' and 'we will remove religion lessons.' We will not let this happen."

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had also slammed CHP and HDP during Saturday’s address to the Independent Industrialist and Businessmen Association's 23rd General Assembly in Istanbul. 

Davutoglu kicked off his AK Party's election rally in the city of Erzurum on Saturday and held a rally in the city of Sivas on the same day as well.

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