Murder suspect claims he obtained weapon from outside police HQ during Turkey’s coup attempt
Mesut Hasan Benli – ANKARA
AFP photoA murder suspect has claimed that he obtained a weapon he used to kill a person from outside the police headquarters in the capital Ankara during the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt, widely believed to have been orchestrated by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
Mustafa Maraş, 37, killed a tractor driver and wounded his brother with an MP-5 weapon, which its sale is banned in Turkey.
“The weapons were distributed in front of the Ankara police headquarters on the night of July 15,” Maraş said in his testimony.
According to an indictment prepared by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, İdris Demircioğlu, 23, and Cesur Demircioğlu, 18, took the road with their tractor after watering walnut trees on July 30, 2016. The tractor used by İdris Demircioğlu came opposite Maraş’s car on the latter’s way back from a picnic near the Çubuk district’s Sarısu village.
Maraş was with his girlfriend, identified only as Ayşe B., and his 10-month-old child in the car.
A quarrel erupted between Demircioğlu and Maraş over making way and Maraş picked up the MP-5 weapon from his car, before shooting the brothers.
İdris Demircioğlu was wounded as a result and Cesur Demircioğlu was killed, while Maraş escaped the scene of the incident before being apprehended on Dec. 4, 2016.
The prosecutor’s office filed a complaint against Maraş with the Ankara 10th Heavy Penal Court and the first hearing was held on May 31.
In his defense, Maraş said he initially planned to leave the weapon in the village where he lives, but he used it after panicking.
“These weapons were distributed in front of the Ankara police headquarters on the night of the July 15 coup attempt. I picked it up from there. I hadn’t used the weapon and my aim was to leave it in the village. After I got the weapon, I fired shots toward the place where İdris Demircioğlu was standing initially. Cesur directed his rifle to me and I was afraid and panicked at that moment. I fired three shots toward Cesur,” Maraş told the court.
İdris Demircioğlu, meanwhile, said they didn’t have any weapons in the tractor.
“The suspect directed the weapon at the level of my head and said ‘Should I pull the trigger?’ We didn’t say anything in return and he pulled the trigger, but couldn’t fire any shots. The suspect then retreated and did something with the weapon. Following that, he directed his weapon toward the tractor and fired rapidly. The bullets hit my right leg and I fell on the ground. The suspect then started rapidly shooting my brother at his chest. There were no weapons in the tractor,” Demircioğlu told the court.
Speaking about the incident, security officials said no citizen can obtain an MP-5 weapon, which is categorized as an automatic weapon that can fire rapidly. The officials also said civilians can’t get hold of the weapon even with licenses.
MP-5 weapons is a Heckler & Koch-made 9mm submachine gun of German design, used by the Turkish special forces and partially by the gendarmerie.