Testimony reveals extrajudicial deaths
Mesut Hasan Benli ANKARA / Radikal
Special operative Korkut Eken allegedly controlled an illegal death list. Hürriyet photo
Special operative Korkut Eken received money to exclude certain persons from the list of Kurdish businessmen to be killed for providing funds to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), according to a mafia leader who testified in an Ankara court yesterday.
“I know Eken received a briefcase full of money from [businessman Ahmet] Hamoğlu,” mafia leader Sedat Peker said. “Back then, everyone spoke about the fact that certain individuals whose names were included in the list of business people aiding the PKK were being killed. I believe Hamoğlu also gave [him] money. The state was absolutely absent in that period,” Peker told Prosecutor Hakan Yüksel, who is conducting an investigation of unresolved murders that peaked during the 1990s.
Peker, who is also a suspect in the ongoing Ergenekon trial, said Eken was trying to drive a wedge between him and another operative codenamed Yeşil, who worked both for the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and for JİTEM, an intelligence unit of the gendarmerie whose existence was officially denied until recently.
“We remained on good terms, however. I informed Korkut Eken of the issue. Shortly thereafter, I was called for tea at the Istanbul Public Safety Directorate. They detained [me] for pick-pocketing. I was subjected to grievous torture. They stripped me naked and took photos,” Peker said.
Operative Yeşil was also detained and his ribs were broken upon Eken’s request, he said, adding that he had heard that the unresolved murders were being committed by a unit authorized by the National Security Council (MGK).
People were overcome with fear in those times, as they could be rounded up and summarily executed by the police without any due process, Peker added.
Yakup Kürşat Yılmaz had also told him that he was presented with an offer to assassinate Halis Toprak, a prominent Kurdish businessman, but that he had rejected it. People such as Yılmaz were tortured either in prison or at the police department, Peker said, adding that during Yılmaz’s transfer to the Diyarbakır prison, Mehmet Ağar was serving as the justice minister.
Former Minister Ağar was recently sentenced to five years in prison as part of the Susurluk trial, which dealt with a scandal involving close relations between the government, the security forces and organized crime.