Intel officer linked to Kurdish women’s murder in Paris probed over ‘parallel-links’
ISTANBULIstanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation against a member of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT), Haluk Özcan, for links to the “parallel structure” – a group of Fethullah Gülen sympathizers accused of trying to overthrow the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, the former’s ally-turned-foe. Previously, Turkish media alleged Özcan ordered the murder of three Kurdish women in Paris in 2013.
A public prosecutor from Turkey’s Counter-Smuggling and Organized Crime Department (KOM), Hasan Yılmaz, asked MİT to provide information on links between Özcan and the “parallel state” in an April 4 request, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet has reported.
According to the report, a complainant identified only by the initials F.C. accused Özcan of involvement in the assassination of an unidentified person within Turkish territory and claimed the officer managed to secure a decision to wiretap his phone calls from Istanbul’s 4th Heavy Penal Court over false reasons, following the complaint.
In his request to MİT, the prosecutor informed the organization that “an investigation has been launched as Haluk Özcan declared liaising with the parallel state structure,” and asked MİT to provide documents on whether the subject is covered under the officer’s activities under the organization, in which case the prosecutor is legally obliged to drop charges.
Previously Turkish media had claimed Özcan ordered the killing of three Kurdish women in Paris by issuing a written order to the murder’s prime suspect, Ömer Güney. Güney was also accused in the reports of being a MİT agent. At the time, MİT had said that an internal administrative investigation was launched into the allegations.
Güney, 30, was the only suspect whose name was released by the French police connected to the murder of Sakine Cansız, a co-founder of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK); Fidan Doğan, a spokeswoman for the organization in France and Europe; and a trainee named Leyla Söylemez at the Kurdistan Cultural Center in Paris on Jan. 9, 2013.
The killings sent a shockwave through Europe’s Kurdish community. On Jan. 17, tens of thousands of people participated in a grand funeral ceremony for the three women in Diyarbakır, a predominantly Kurdish-populated southeastern Anatolia province.
Peace talks between the AKP government and the jailed leader of the PKK, Abdullah Öcalan, were ongoing at the time of the murders.