Retired colonel’s shooting suspect found in ‘backpack’ operation

Retired colonel’s shooting suspect found in ‘backpack’ operation

Toygun Atilla - ISTANBUL
Retired colonel’s shooting suspect found in ‘backpack’ operation Istanbul police have identified and detained a suspect, who recently shot a retired colonel living undercover, who was the lead commander of a military operation in which 10 student members of an illegal revolutionary group were killed in 1972, thanks to the backpack of the suspect. 

Istanbul police used street surveillance cameras (MOBESE) to find out details regarding the shooting of Fehmi Altınbilek and his wife, Asuman Altınbilek, in broad daylight in Istanbul’s central Beşiktaş district on June 7, election day. Thanks to the footage, police saw that one of the attackers was wearing a backpack while on a motorbike. 

Anti-terror teams focused on leaks or cyber-attacks on the MERNIS, an e-Turkey database system which computerizes information about citizens, on the grounds that the attackers may have tracked the personal information of the retired colonel via this system.

The teams found that Altınbilek’s information was obtained from the Kartal 12th Notary via MERNİS. The 27-year-old E.N.Y., who was working at the Kartal 12th Notary, had a housemate who was detained a week before the attack, with allegations of being a member of the illegal Maoist Communist Party (MKP). 

The police determined that E.N.Y. was one of two suspects who shot the retired colonel and his wife and escaped from the scene on a stolen motorbike.

The police started to monitor moves of the suspect and took his pictures. In the days following the attack, the police realized that E.N.Y. had the same backpack as one of the suspects on the motorbike. As the suspect had visited the Kartal 12th Notary wearing the same backpack, the police detained him in a raid made on his house. 

The police also seized the suspect’s computer in the house raid.

Altınbilek has used the ID of Çetin Oğuz to live undercover, due to his past involvement in military operations.

Altınbilek was the commander who headed the military operation in Istanbul’s Kızıldere neighborhood (known today as Ataköy) in which revolutionary student leader Mahir Çayan and nine others were killed on March 27, 1972. 

Çayan was the leader of the People’s Liberation Party-Front of Turkey (THKP-C), an illegal group born of the leftist student movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Çayan was an iconic figure for Turkish leftist movements, escaping prison after being sentenced in 1971. Ertuğrul Kürkçü, who is still an active politician in Turkey, was the only survivor of the clash in which Çayan and nine other friends were killed.

Altınbilek also headed another operation in the Çemişgezek district of Tunceli province on Jan. 24, 1973, in which İbrahim Kaypakkaya was wounded. Kaypakkaya is another symbolic name of the 1968 student movement and the former leader of the Turkish Workers and Peasants’ Liberation Army (TİKKO). He survived the 1973 operation, but was wounded. 

Meanwhile, Altınbilek’s name was first in the media on April 13, 1970, when one of the two guns used in the killing of Dr. Necdet Güçlü turned out to be registered under Altınbilek’s name.