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HDN | 5/24/2006 12:00:00 AM |

Details starting to come together in picture of Muzaffer Tekin: With a front page photograph of Muzaffer Tekin, the latest key name in last week's bloody attack in Ankara, standing next to Ibrahim Şahin, a key name from the infamous "Susurluk" affair, Hürriyet daily yesterday proclaims "Hand in hand with Susurluk" regarding the developments in the Council of State case. A series of reports in Hürriyet reveal details from Tekin's past which seem to indicate a more than passing link with key figures from both organized crime and special military forces in Turkey. According to Hürriyet, not only was Tekin a "frequent visitor" to Şahin, who was imprisoned for awhile in the Kartal Prison, but "

Details starting to come together in picture of Muzaffer Tekin:

With a front page photograph of Muzaffer Tekin, the latest key name in last week's bloody attack in Ankara, standing next to Ibrahim Şahin, a key name from the infamous "Susurluk" affair, Hürriyet daily yesterday proclaims "Hand in hand with Susurluk" regarding the developments in the Council of State case. A series of reports in Hürriyet reveal details from Tekin's past which seem to indicate a more than passing link with key figures from both organized crime and special military forces in Turkey. According to Hürriyet, not only was Tekin a "frequent visitor" to Şahin, who was imprisoned for awhile in the Kartal Prison, but "it was discovered that Tekin had frequent phone conversations with Yener Keskin and Bogaçhan Murathan, both men close to the currently imprisoned criminal Sedat Peker." More confusion is cast onto what the links between Tekin and lawyer Alparslan Aslan (who committed the attack on the Council of State) could be by the photograph which accompanies a Hürriyet report on the insides of his office in Kadiköy. While Aslan told police following the attack that he had carried out the act as "punishment" for the secular court's ruling on headscarf rules applied to teachers, Tekin's office is "covered with Ataturk portraits, Turkish flags, and poetry about heroism and bravery." In addition, a quote from a retired officer from the Turkish armed forces, Oktay Yildirim, who says he knew Tekin for a decade, is included in this report: "Muzaffer Tekin is the only lieutenant who ever received a gold medal for his work in the Cyprus Peace Operation. ... What would a person like that have to do with a gang?"

No 'secrets' revealed yet; Alparslan Arslan denies 'gang' connections:

A report in yesterday's Radikal daily says that "rather than revealing much, lawyer Alparslan Arslan, who is being held for the attacks on the Council of State and the Cumhuriyet newspaper, is not giving out any 'secrets'." According to Radikal, while Arslan is using his right to silence, the other three suspects arrested by police in connection with the case are also denying any connection to an organized gang. Arslan reportedly told investigators that he had acquired the money to buy the guns and bombs he had used in both the Council of State and the Cumhuriyet attack from people who weren't his acquaintances in Istanbul's Maltepe neighborhood. He also said that the people who gave him this money did not know what he was planning on using it for. Ismail Sagir, one of the men arrested after Arslan, said: "I was working on construction projects. Erhan introduced me to Osman and Alparslan. We sat at a bar. Osman and Alparslan told me, 'We are planning on throwing bombs which won't explode somewhere.' They told me I could earn a lot of money. I accepted, since I needed the money. The first bomb was thrown by Tekin Irsi, and it didn't explode. The day after, they asked me if I would throw a bomb. We took a taxi to near the newspaper building. Osman gave me a bomb and left me with Tekin there. We pulled the pin out of the bomb and threw it into the garden. Osman and Alparslan were supposed to pay me. But only Erhan gave me some pocket money....about YTL 100."

Lawyer's mother: You have destroyed us!

The mother of lawyer Alparslan Arslan is the focus of a brief report in yesterday's Sabah daily. Hatice Arslan reportedly cried out, "You have destroyed us all, how could you have done this?" when she, along with Arslan's father, Idris Arslan, came to the Ankara police antiterrorism bureau where their son, who was arrested after he burst into the Council of State and murdered judge Mustafa Özbilgin last Wednesday, is being kept. Arslan had been on a three-day hunger strike until his parents arrived two days ago at the Ankara bureau, though he reportedly broke the strike long enough to eat some of the cherries and bananas brought by his mother. In reaction to his mother's cries, Arslan is quoted by Sabah as saying: "Mother, do not press me. I am exhausted. ... Be patient, these days will pass." The Sabah report notes that Hatice Arslan fainted following her meeting with her son, and had to be taken to a local hospital for treatment. Arslan's father, İdris Arslan, is quoted as relaying condolences to the family of the murdered judge, Mustafa Ozbilgin.

Sezer calls society's reaction to Ankara attack ‘pleasing' to see:

Yesterday's Vatan daily has an article covering statements made on Monday evening by President Ahmed Necdet Sezer at a reception for the rectors of 53 different state universities in Turkey. Sezer, in a comment which echoed a statement made earlier in the week by Gen. Hilmi Özkök regarding the demonstrations in Ankara following the bloody attack on the Council of State, said, "The reflex reaction displayed by the society is pleasing." Gen. Özkök had said earlier, "The people of Turkey are right to react, and the reactions should continue." Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has commented already on Gen. Özkök's statements, saying that they were not appropriate for someone in his position. According to the Vatan report, the "polemic" between Erdogan and Özkök was also a topic at the meeting of rectors, with sources reporting that many rectors voiced opinions that Gen. Özkök's statements had been "misinterpreted," and that they were not aimed at supporting negative reaction towards the AKP administration, but were instead a call for continual resistance and reaction to every kind of perceived threat to the republic.  

If there is a gang, how high up does it go?:

Zaman daily yesterday reports that sources are saying that a certain "high level" retired officer from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) may have been giving orders to Muzaffer Tekin, the newly emerged key figure in last Wednesday's Council of State attacks. A quote from a "high-level police authority" touches on the stream of evidence flowing into investigators laps in these days following the attack, saying, "Along with the capture of the attacker, the different relations are unraveling the way a sock would." The same source told Zaman that the retired high-level TSK officer could be arrested as more information was gathered. The Zaman article also notes that Tekin was taken under observation by both police forces and the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT) six months ago, and that in a MIT report, Tekin was described as follows: "A top-level leader of an illegal gang that wishes to create chaos in the country and that subcontracts former criminals as their triggermen." In direct opposition to Arslan's denial of any connections with former Lt. Col. Muzaffer Tekin, the imprisoned lawyer's father, Idris Arslan, said: "My son changed a lot after meeting Muzaffer Tekin. He began to go back and forth, attending Patriotic Forces Strength Union meetings with him. I spoke to his friends; my son was under Tekin's control, and was being directed by him. I think he committed this act under threat. I used to hear from my son's circle of friends that Tekin had connections to a retired-high level member of the military."

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