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New Lights to be Shed on Turkey’s Dark Past

Doğan came under the spotlight last week when various voice recordings featuring his voice, a fact that Doğan has since acknowledged, were anonymously posted on a website.
A retired colonel testified to a prosecutor yesterday on the activities of an illegal group he founded in the late '80s that terrorized the country, but particularly the Kurdish East and Southeast, while an Ankara prosecutor launched an investigation into the death of a gendarmerie commander 17 years ago.

These developments come only two days after the son of a deceased president testified to a prosecutor investigating a 1988 assassination attempt on that president's life.

These two cases are of great historical importance and might potentially shed light on the secrets of what Turks call the “deep state” -- individuals and groups clustered within the state hierarchy that often take the law into their own hands and carry out informal and illegal operations, which are usually heinous crimes, to manipulate public opinion in a way they deem would be good for the country.

Retired Col. Arif Doğan, who claims to be the founder of JİTEM, a clandestine and illicit unit within the gendarmerie, testified to Prosecutor Zekeriya Öz at the Beşiktaş Courthouse in İstanbul yesterday.

Doğan, who is awaiting trial in the investigation into Ergenekon, a clandestine organization accused of plotting to overthrow the government, has spoken with various newspapers over the past few days, saying that he wants to testify to prosecutors before he dies, citing various medical conditions he is suffering from. There are more than 100 defendants in the trial, and although Doğan was also lined up to testify before the court, he said he wished to speak sooner.

The İstanbul Chief Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation into a voice recording posted online earlier this week which features the voice of Col. Arif Doğan, a suspect in the ongoing Ergenekon investigation.

Doğan came under the spotlight last week when various voice recordings featuring his voice, a fact that Doğan has since acknowledged, were anonymously posted on a website.

In the recording Doğan recounts various actions by JİTEM, an unofficial military intelligence unit believed to be responsible for a number of assassinations, and confesses to having played a role in the death of former Gendarmerie Commander Gen. Eşref Bitlis, who died in a suspicious plane crash 17 years ago.
 
Although Doğan said his words were taken out of context, a prosecutor yesterday launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Bitlis' death.

In the voice recording, Doğan also confesses to having orchestrated attacks on Turkey's Alevi community by what appeared to be religious mobs as well as having purposefully stopped an operation that would have landed terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan in Turkish hands years before his capture in 1999.

In a related development, the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday launched an investigation into the death of former Gendarmerie General Commander Gen.
 
Eşref Bitlis, who died in a suspicious plane crash in 1993 while investigating questionable links between the military, terrorists and other groups.

The prosecutor launched the investigation based on recent testimony from various witnesses who made statements to the press. The son of Turkey’s eighth President Turgut Özal, Ahmet Özal, said he had reason to believe Bitlis’ death was not an accident, while a former military prosecutor, retired Col. Hasan Tüysüzoğlu, recently claimed that a file on the plane crash was suspiciously lacking in information.

The investigation will be carried out by the Deputy Prosecutor’s Office in charge of terrorism and organized crime. The prosecution will start the probe by demanding a copy of the 1993 investigation records from the Military Prosecutor’s Office of the General Staff.
Prosecutor Hüseyin Görüşen will be conducting the investigation. He is expected to start summoning witnesses to testify in the days ahead


  • YORUM YAZIN
  • İÇERİĞİ YAZDIRIN