Place of Birth: Turkey;
Ikram Soltan is a 54-year-old Turkish national from Bayburt province, suspected to have links to a terrorist organization was provided a platform by the Turkish president’s family foundation to preach to the younger generation and allowed to compete for a nomination on the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) ticket in an election
He had been monitored by a police intelligence unit for suspected ties to the outlawed Muslim Youth Organization (Müslüman Gençlik Örgütü), a terrorist group that functioned as a breeding ground for armed jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda terrorist group.
The documents show that police intelligence obtained a warrant to wiretap his phone on February 27, 2009. The Istanbul 3rd High Criminal Court reviewed the request and allowed the police to intercept Soltan’s phone communications.
The monitoring of his phone continued in 2010, with his Gmail account added to the police surveillance.
On May 6, 2011 the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court granted a renewed wiretap request filed by the police to eavesdrop on Soltan’s phone conversations.
Soltan’s name raised a red flag when the police picked up intelligence which showed that he and several others were planning to launch what was described as “sensational activities and demonstrations” at universities and other places.
He was tracked by the C-unit of the intelligence section, which monitors radical religious groups and terrorist organizations with a view to preventing attacks before they take place.
Although he had been flagged by intelligence for his radical activities, Soltan managed to run for nomination on the AKP ticket during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s campaign in the 2015 general election.
He was unsuccessful in securing a bid for the ticket from the third electoral district in Istanbul.
Soltan was also a keynote speaker at youth events organized by the Erdogan family’s Turkey Youth Foundation (Türkiye Gençlik Vakfı, TÜGVA).
The foundation is run by Presient Erdogan’s son Bilal Erdogan and plays a crucial role in the dissemination of radical Islamist ideology among young people.
The foundation enjoys generous funding from municipalities and businesses close to the government and has branches all over Turkey.
President Erdoğan described the aim of TÜGVA and other family organizations as “working for the construction of a new civilization,” and they act as quasi-official regime charities.
Soltan also has long been active with various religious groups and helped establish foundations and associations such as Avcilar Vakfi, Gulder Gençlik Dernegi and Yediveren Dernegi.
He was among the leaders of the Human and Civilization Movement (İnsan ve Medeniyet Hareketi, İMH), an Islamist group that organized rallies to endorse President Erdogan and held protests against Egypt in support of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group. He was president of the İMH for six years.
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