Lawyer in drug cases assassinated in Istanbul restaurant
Çetin Aydın – ISTANBUL
A Turkish lawyer was murdered late on Oct. 31 at a central Istanbul restaurant, only months after he said his life was in danger due to his involvement in a drugs lord-related case.
The murderer entered the restaurant in the Bakırköy district with a machine gun and shot Kudbettin Kaya, who was dining with his family, before escaping by car.
The lawyer, who had previously been arrested in the 2010 Ergenekon coup attempt case in Turkey, succumbed to his wounds in hospital.
Kaya’s arrest in 2010 was ordered by Zekeriya Öz, who is a key suspect in last year’s coup attempt, for which the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) is widely believed responsible.
Öz, a leading figure in the Ergenekon cases, is still at large. All suspects in the case have been acquitted. The government has accused the Gülenists of manipulating the cases.
On a separate note, Kaya was also arrested in 2012 after Iranian citizen Naci Sherifi Zindashti, a secret witness in a drug case, accused Kaya of bribery and influencing the judiciary to save drug lords from jail. The lawyer was later released.
He had recently been defending Orhan Üngan, who is suspected of ordering the murder of Zindashti’s daughter and nephew in September 2014 as revenge for the capture of 2.1 tons of drugs in a joint U.S.-Greece operation in Greece earlier that year.
Media reports said the two hit men in the incident were later killed in Istanbul.
Üngan was caught on Aug. 25, 2015 in Amsterdam with a fake Serbian ID and extradited to Turkey.
Kaya had said in court that the case was not an “ordinary murder case.”
“Some of the police in the investigation have been removed from office. Some have been expelled on charges of being a member of the FETÖ. I might not appear in the next hearing because I could be killed or kill someone in self-defense.” he had said.