Curious connections between retired army members in Turkey

Anti-terror teams on Tuesday night located a home being used as an arms depot in the central Anatolian town of Eskisehir.

Curious connections between retired army members in Turkey

Anti-terror teams on Tuesday night located a home being used as an arms depot in the central Anatolian town of Eskisehir.

During a night raid of a house belonging to retired Maj. Fikret Emek police seized a Kanas weapon, binoculars, Kalashnikovs, 12 hand grenades, A4, C4 and TNT explosives, explosive blocks, pistols, fuses, silencers and a large number of confidential documents.

The police were led to the ammunition depot on the basis of evidence revealed by another investigation into the recent police discovery of a shanty house in the Ümraniye district of İstanbul filled with TNT explosives.

An armed gang set up by former army officials uncovered during the 2006 attack on the Council of State, which left one senior judge dead, appears to be behind the Eskişehir incident. In addition to the Council of State attack, suspects of both the Umraniye and Eskişehir incidents seem to have links to a 1998 armed attack on a former head of the Human Rights Association (İHD).

A total of 27 hand grenades and a large amount of TNT explosives were found during a police operation in Ümraniye last week, starting the investigation that led to the discovery of the arms depot in Eskişehir. Eight people, including retired Capt. Muzaffer Tekin, who had testified in the investigation of the Council of State shooting a year ago, were arrested as part of the Umraniye investigation.

Eskişehir Governor Kadir Çalışcı, who called an immediate press conference, said the Eskişehir police had completed an operation that would have serious repercussions countrywide. However he said he couldn't reveal any more details due to the judicial process in progress.

Former Maj. Fikret Emek, 44, found inside the house by police, was handed over to the anti-terror department of the İstanbul police for interrogation.

Police had already issued a search warrant for Emek in relation to an operation that uncovered a criminal group known as "Atabeyler."

The police also carried out a raid on Emek's home in Ankara on Tuesday night, but no illegal materials were found there.

The Tekin connection

In a related development, also linked to Tekin -- the retired captain suspected in the Ümraniye arms depot incident -- is a man previously found to be the inciter of the 1998 armed attack against former İHD head Birdal. Semih Tufan Gülaltay, the man behind the shooting (which Birdal survived after being seriously wounded), had frequent meetings with Tekin at the headquarters of the ultranationalist National Unity Party (UBP), founded in 1998 and led by Gülaltay. The relationship between the two came to the attention of authorities when they went through records of phone conversations recorded during the investigation into the Birdal incident.

Gülaltay's file included testimony from Feride Esra Gökçimen, whose husband Muzaffer was allegedly robbed by Gülaltay, the Gazeteport news site reported on Tuesday. The Gökçimen family sued Gülaltay, stating at the time that retired Capt. Tekin visited the UBP leader two days before the attack on the Council of State. According to Gökçimen's testimony, she was asked to cross certain names off the list of the UBP's founders on the party's Web site (www.ulusalbirlikkomitesi.com). It was not clear in the report what kind of relationship Gökçimen had with the UBP.

Gökçimen said Gülaltay wanted the names Muzaffer Tekin, Savaşhan Tosunoğlu, Mahmut Aydın and a man named Mahmut, "whose last name eludes me," crossed off the party founders list on the night of the attack against the Council of State.

Gulaltay planned to assassinate the prime minister

The Gazeteport news site on Wednesday claimed that Gülaltay might have been planning to assassinate Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Based on the testimony of Gökçimen, Gülaltay had plans to assassinate Erdoğan in June 2006, on a day when he was to attend the opening ceremonies of four new crossroads in İstanbul. Gökçimen's testimony gave an elaborate account of the plan, including the names of armed members of the Turkish Revenge Brigade (TİT), another illegal organization in which Gülaltay is involved, who were supposed to carry out the assassination.

Forming armed organizations to 'save the country' is wrong

Acknowledging that some of the eight suspects of the Ümraniye incident were individuals in the private security business, Nuri Gündeş, former head of the National Intelligence Organization's (MİT) İstanbul division and current head of the Private Security Professionals Federation, told Today's Zaman that they were "a few rotten eggs in the sector." Gündeş said only a tiny minority of the private security sector had links to illegal organizations working to "save the country" on their own.

Today's Zaman

Last Mod: 28 Haziran 2007, 14:28
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