Former Turkish minister faces life sentence over murder allegations

Former Turkish minister faces life sentence over murder allegations

Former Turkish minister faces life sentence over murder allegations

An Ankara court has accepted an indictment asking for life sentence for former Interior Minister Mehmet Ağar. DHA photo

An Ankara court has accepted an indictment asking for life sentences for 12 suspects, including former Interior Minister Mehmet Ağar and former Chief of Police İbrahim Şahin, over the murder of Mecit Baskın.

Prosecutor Mustafa Bilgili filed charges of “homicide within the framework of activity of an armed organization established to commit crime.” Baskın was the former head of the registry office in Ankara’s Altındağ district.

The indictment accuses the suspects of involvement in the killing of Baskın by kidnapping him in Ankara and shooting him at night, Anadolu Agency reported.

Ayhan Çarkın, one of the 12 suspects and former special operations police, said in his testimony that a 60-member special team was established on the order of Ağar, who was the chief of police, with the aim of taking part in a fight against terrorism in southeast Turkey and educating new personnel. He continued and said the team went beyond its target and “undertook some execution in Ankara.”

Çarkın claimed Baskın was targeted because he was providing counterfeit identity cards to outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants and was a key figure for the terrorist organization.

Susurluk case

Ağar previously gave his testimony upon prosecutor Bilgili’s demand, in which he denied that he had ever been involved in any illegal activity. He was previously sentenced to five years in prison for “establishing an armed organization to commit a crime” during the time he served as the chief of police, as a part of the Susurluk “deep state” case, but was released on probation after one year and four days in prison.

In 1996, a car rear-ended a truck in the town of Susurluk, which later became the namesake of the infamous case. Nationalist militant Abdullah Çatlı, Police Chief Hüseyin Kocadağ and model Gonca Us died in the accident, while Sedat Edip Bucak, a deputy from the center-right True Path Party (DYP), was injured.

The traffic accident involving a parliamentarian, a police official and a fugitive rightist militant exposed the relationship between the country’s mafia, police and political figures. It was claimed that the “deep state” had been responsible for many unsolved crimes.

The Susurluk case is aimed at unveiling a shadowy illegal organization popularly known as the “deep state.”

Back to prison

The acceptance of the indictment will cause Ağar to lose his release under probation right, opening the way back to prison.

Muğla judges have lifted his right to benefit from the law due to opening an investigation into him in another case.

After the declaration of the decision to him, Ağar will be obliged to go back prison.

Stressing that the decision had not been handed to them, one of Ağar’s attorneys, Abdulkadir Toluç, said they would use the right to appeal if this decision had been made. “Because this is against the ECHR [European Court of Justice] and the Constitution,” he said.