Turkey’s top court declares secrecy for hearings in case of Syria-bound intel trucks
Cihan PhotoThe Supreme Court of Appeals has declared “secrecy” for all hearings in a case against the four prosecutors who ordered the stopping and searching of Syria-bound intelligence trucks in January 2014 and a staff colonel involved in the incident. The five being tried in the case are charged with attempting to topple the government.
On Oct. 1, the 16th Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals in Ankara began hearing the case against former Adana Chief Public Prosecutor Süleyman Bağrıyanık, prosecutors Aziz Takçı, Özcan Şişman and Ahmet Karaca, and former Adana Gendarmerie Command Staff Colonel Özkan Çokay. The ruling to hear the case in secrecy was thus declared in its first session.
The four prosecutors, who were arrested back in May, are being held in prison in Ankara during the trial, while Çokay is being held separate from the others in a military prison.
Arrest warrants for the five were issued on the grounds of “attempting to topple or stop it [the Turkish government] partially or completely from doing its duty by using force and violence.”
In February 2014, a ban was imposed on the publication of reports about the search, and in April 2015 a Turkish court arrested 17 active soldiers who stopped the trucks.
The trucks belonging to National Intelligence Organization (MİT) were stopped by a prosecutor who sought to have the gendarmerie search the vehicles in the southern province of Adana in January 2014 before they crossed into Syria. Claiming that the trucks were carrying “humanitarian aid to Turkmens” in the war-torn country, the Turkish government accused followers of ally-turned-foe U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen in the judiciary and security institutions of illegally ordering the search.