LEADING NEWS SOURCE FOR TURKEY AND THE REGION

TURKEY

Council of State investigation leads to 'deep' facts

ANKARA – Turkish Daily News | 5/24/2006 12:00:00 AM |

A former military officer suspected of planning the attack at the Council of State is linked to two individuals who were involved in the Susurluk scandal

An investigation into recent shootings at the Council of State has led prosecutors to various suspects with links to ultranationalist groups and the so-called “deep state.”

Former military officer Muzaffer Tekin, who is suspected of being the leader of the gang that orchestrated the attack on the court, is reported to have had close relations with former Special Forces chief İbrahim Şahin and retired Major Gen. Veli Küçük, both of whom were key names in the Susurluk scandal.

The Susurluk scandal showed that security officials were involved in illegal operations with right-wing mafia and politicians. Reports said gangs operating within the state or with loose links to it took the law into their own hands and committed a series of crimes. Such gangs are referred to as being part of the “deep state.” The matter came to a head when a gang leader, a politician and a police chief were involved in a traffic accident on Nov. 3, 1996.

Şahin was imprisoned for involvement in the Susurluk scandal, and Küçük was only saved from prosecution because the Office of the Chief of General Staff refused to allow charges against him to proceed. Newspapers printed photos of Tekin with Şahin, as the latter was being released early from prison in 2002 for health reasons.

Investigations have revealed close links between those who are currently in police custody and various ultranationalist organizations and gangs.

Tekin was placed in police custody at the hospital where he is recuperating from self-inflicted wounds. He is believed to have guided Alparslan Arslan, the gunman who shot the judges. Arslan was also involved in the bombing of the Cumhuriyet daily.

Police found Şahin and Küçük's phone numbers listed in Tekin's phone book. Some reports also said that a copy of a top secret national security document was found at Tekin's home. When asked why he had tried to commit suicide, Tekin reportedly told the police: “I am an honorable Turkish soldier. I am not involved in this matter. I tried to kill myself to prevent them from placing a hood on my head.”

Reports also said Tekin's name cropped up during investigations into various organized criminal gangs.

Police chief: Organized gang involved:

Police Chief Gökhan Aydıner said on Tuesday they had uncovered organized gang involvement in the attack on the Council of State, noting that members of the gang were detained.

Aydıner said the investigation into the bombings of Cumhuriyet daily on May 5, 10 and 11 was broadened and, after the attack at the Council of State, the culprits were arrested.

“On May 17, two people were arrested, including Arslan. The next day we took eight more people into custody. As a result of our investigations, a total of 17 people were taken into custody. Police are trying to locate two more suspects.”

The gang that had bombed Cumhuriyet daily was also involved in the shootings at the Council of State, he said.

When asked if there was any involvement with the Susurluk case, Aydıner said, “All links are being investigated.”

Arslan keeps silent:

Arslan, who has told everything concerning the bombing attacks against the Cumhuriyet daily and shootings at the Council of State, has remained silent on certain crucial aspects of the crime.

He had told police that he had carried out the attack on the Council of State for their decision in support of the headscarf ban and that it was a personal decision. The attacks on Cumhuriyet were based on some of their articles, he said.

However, Arslan has refused to say where he got the weapons and has constantly denied any links to a criminal gang. He said he purchased the guns from a person unknown to him and that those who had mediated the transaction had not known for what purpose he was acquiring the weapons.

Arslan also told police he had met with Tekin a few times but that they were not close. “He is not involved. The attack was just a reaction on my part.”

Suspect says he was involved:

Erhan Timuroğlu, who was photographed next to Arslan when they threw a bomb at Cumhuriyet on May 11, surrendered to the police on Monday and told them that he was supposed to join Arslan in the attack on the Council of State.

Tekin İrşi, one of the bombers, told the police he had committed the crime in exchange for money and had threatened Arslan with going to the police if he wasn't to be paid. İrşi said Arslan paid him YTL 100.

Timuroğlu, İrşi's childhood friend, told the police they had planned the attack on the Council of State. “Four of us went to Ankara. We parked our car 40 meters from the Council of State. A police car passed us but was not suspicious. Arslan went and returned a while later, saying he had failed. We left and rented a room at a hotel. When I woke up in the morning, I saw Arslan had already left. I saw the news on television and left for Istanbul.”

Police also arrested Atilla Erer, who had signed a check for Arslan worth YTL 20,000 that was found in Arslan's car in front of the Council of State after the shooting.

MOST POPULAR

MOST COMMENTED

AcerPro S.I.P.A HTML & CSS Agency