Fugitive suspect Dalan appears in Germany

Fugitive suspect Dalan appears in Germany

Vercihan Ziflioğlu ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Fugitive suspect Dalan appears in Germany

This file photo shows former Istanbul Mayor Bedrettin Dalan. Photo by Selçuk Yaşar

Former Istanbul Mayor Bedrettin Dalan, a fugitive suspect in the ongoing Ergenekon probe, was photographed in the city of Mannheim only a day after he allegedly said during a live broadcast in Turkey that he was residing in Germany.

“If Turkey achieves [only] 50 percent of universal legal norms, then I would immediately return. I was never a member in any organization. I trust Turkish justice but not the Ergenekon justice,” said a man claiming to be Dalan on the phone during a live broadcast of the television station Beyaz TV.

During Monday’s program, sports commentator Ahmet Çakar repeated an earlier claim that had been raised by Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Şamil Tayyar, alleging that one of the suspects in a recent match-fixing scandal had gone to Belarus to hand over $200,000 to the former mayor.

A person claiming to be Dalan then called the program and said he was residing in Stuttgart, Germany instead and had not been to Belarus for 1.5 years, but the program’s hosts insisted the man on the line was not Dalan, reported the daily Vatan.

Dalan was photographed in Mannheim while eating at a table with a group of women, according to reports.

Eberhard Pohl, Germany’s Ambassador to Turkey told reporters yesterday that he had no information on Dalan’s presence in Germany, and he was not aware on any international warrant for his arrest. Elaborating on Dalan’s remarks that he was under protection of German laws, Pohl said, “I can only guess, if a person in Germany said he is under protection of law in German courts, probably it’s an expression of trust at the German judicial system is functioning fairly and transparently.”

Dalan had exited the country in November 2008, shortly before law enforcement officials launched a raid into Dalan’s İstek Foundation in Istanbul within the scope of the Ergenekon trials.

Ergenekon is an alleged ultranationalist, shadowy gang accused of planning to topple the government by staging a coup initially by spreading chaos and mayhem. It is also thought to be an extension of or a different name for the “deep state,” which is an alleged unofficial organization of bureaucracy and military operating behind the scenes of the official state structure.