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The Turkish state-run news agency said authorities arrested a prominent member of an opposition party on charges of engaging in “political and military espionage”.

The Anadolu agency said on Monday evening that an Ankara court had ordered the imprisonment of Metin Gurcan, a retired army officer and founding member of the Opposition Party for Democracy and Progress, or DEVA, pending the outcome of a trial.

Gurcan, who has written articles on Turkish foreign policy and defense issues, founded the DEVA party last year with its leader, Ali Babacan, a former deputy prime minister who broke with the president’s ruling party Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The politician and defense analyst is accused of selling allegedly secret information to foreign diplomats, according to the Hurriyet newspaper and other outlets. Gurcan dismissed the charges during his questioning, according to reports.

A trial date is expected to be set after the court approves prosecutors’ indictment against Gurcan.

Babacan defended Gurcan in a late-night TV interview, saying the analyst had “no way of gaining access to confidential information considered a state secret because he was not working for the state” .

“(Gurcan’s) studies consist of information compiled from open sources,” Babacan said.

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ABC News

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