Turkey to zoom in on assassinations of 1993 and after

The investigation will focus on the unsolved assassinations of the past 20 years and possible connections between them.

Turkey to zoom in on assassinations of 1993 and after

World Bulletin/News Desk

The Ankara Prosecutor's Office has taken a new step to solve the unexplained political murders committed in Turkey in 1993 and afterwards, extending two investigations it is conducting into the suspicious deaths of former President Turgut Özal and former Gendarmerie commander Gen. Eşref Bitlis.

The investigation will focus on the unsolved assassinations of the past 20 years and possible connections between them. Ankara prosecutors Kemal Çetin, Mustafa Bilgili and Hüseyin Şahin will be exchanging information during the investigations. These three prosecutors are in charge of conducting investigations regarding crimes that fall under the scope of Article 10 of the Anti-Terror Law. In addition to the suspicious deaths of Özal and Bitlis, the Ankara Prosecutor's Office is also conducting an investigation into the death of academic Necip Hablemitoğlu, shot dead in front of his house in 2002, as well as the killings of several Kurdish businessmen in the area known as the Bolu–Sapanca–Hendek triangle. The prosecutors will be investigating 1,091 unsolved assassinations, and prosecutor's offices in other provinces are also conducting similar probes.

There are about 30 murders in Ankara that are reminiscent of the killings of Kurdish businessmen Ömer Lütfi Topal, Namık Erdoğan and Yusuf Ekinci, and the Ankara Prosecutor's Office is now concentrating on the possible links between these murders.

There were many sensational assassinations in 1993, as stated in an indictment against Ergenekon terror suspect Gen. Levent Ersöz, who is accused of having played a role in the alleged assassination of the late President Özal. The Ankara 13th High Criminal Court recently accepted the indictment. Prosecutor Kemal Çetin says the Özal murder and a number of others committed at the time were staged to stop actions launched by Özal to address the Kurdish question.

Murders under investigation again   The assailants were never found for more than 1,000 murders committed between 1990 and 2011, with the majority that were seemingly politically motivated taking place between 1991 and 1994.

Those to be re-examined include the deaths of Kurdish writer Musa Anter, former People's Labor Party (HEP) provincial unit president Vedat Aydın, journalist Çetin Emeç, Kurdish businessmen Savaş Buldan, Behçet Cantürk, Namık Erdoğan and People's Democracy Party (HADEP) Silopi district head Serdar Tanış.

In addition, the Jan. 24, 1993 assassination of Uğur Mumcu, who died when a bomb planted on his vehicle exploded outside his home. On Feb. 5, 1993, former Motherland Party (ANAP/ANAVATAN) deputy Adnan Kahveci, a former finance minister, died in a suspicious traffic accident near Gerede.   Former head of the Gendarmerie General Command Gen. Eşref Bitlis died in a suspicious plane crash on Feb. 27, 1993.

President Özal died on April 17, 1993 as a result of what was declared to be heart failure. Last year, his grave was exhumed and an autopsy was conducted on his remains, revealing the presence of a potent poison in his body at the time of death.

Thirty-seven people were massacred on July 2, 1993 when an angry mob set fire to the Madımak Hotel in Sivas, which was hosting Alevi intellectuals visiting the city to attend the Pir Sultan Festival.

On Oct. 22, 1993, Diyarbakır Gendarmerie Regional Commander Gen. Bahtiyar Aydın was killed in front of a military base as a result of gunfire by an unknown individual or individuals.

Cem Ersever, believed to be one of the key figures in JİTEM, an illegal anti-terror unit founded inside the gendarmerie and believed to be behind many atrocities against the Kurds of Turkey's Southeast in the 1990s, was killed on Nov. 4, 1993.

On Feb. 3, 1994, Gendarmerie Col. Kazım Çillioğlu was found dead with a single bullet to the head.

Last Mod: 06 Mayıs 2013, 14:44
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