By EMRE USLU
The murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, the killing of the priest Andrea Santoro and the massacre of missionaries at the Zirve Publishing House in Malatya are the most famous of the unresolved murders that have been committed during the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) rule. Only the hired killers who committed the murders were caught, and the people who masterminded the attacks could not be found.
Dink’s murder was very dramatic. Hired killers are still being actively used. Many years after the murder the killer contacted the prosecutor’s office and gave information on several police officers whom he claimed “had a hand in the murder.” Some police officers were arrested, but there was something those behind the murder had not calculated. They had promoted the person who was the head of the intelligence branch at the Trabzon security directorate at the time of murder and assigned him as the head of the National Police Department’s Intelligence Unit. They had appointed his assistant as a “reliable” man to Cizre, the center of recent skirmishes.
As the investigation led to the head of the Intelligence Unit, they stalled the investigation once again. They tried to save face with campaigns to manipulate the public’s perceptions on the matter.
Let us proceed with the correct analysis of what happened. After an investigation was launched into Ergenekon — a clandestine organization nested within the state trying to overthrow or manipulate the democratically elected government — unresolved murders came to an abrupt halt in Turkey. The defendants in the Ergenekon case were released from prison and the murders resumed. The recent incidents of tension in Cizre can hardly be seen as mere coincidence.
I wouldn’t have noticed this if one of my sources hadn’t drawn attention to the interesting link between Dink’s murder and the Cizre incidents.
A number of books note that Veli Küçük, who was accused of being the head of the Ergenekon organization, had conducted certain activities in Trabzon in the run up to Dink’s murder. Two critical people in Trabzon were mentioned as being involved in the preparations for the murder: Trabzon gendarmerie commander Col. Ali Öz and Ercan Demir from the Trabzon Police Department’s Intelligence Unit.
Much was written about Öz. My source draws attention to the interesting ties held by Police Chief Demir, who was arrested in connection with Dink’s murder.
My source claims that Demir had contacted Küçük on the phone 26 times before Dink’s murder.
My source further argues that at the time, Demir had prevented his staff from gathering intelligence in the gendarmerie’s area, particularly in the town of Pelitli, where Ogün Samast, the hitman in the Dink murder, lived.
It is claimed that while Yasin Hayal, who was eventually convicted of Dink’s murder, was being pursued by the police and went to Pelitli, Demir told his team not to pursue him, citing previous problems with the gendarmerie over jurisdiction.
My source also explains that Demir has close relations with Öz at that time. This piece of information was also verified by one of my sources from the military, who worked in Trabzon in the past.
For my source, it is not a coincidence that tensions in Cizre skyrocketed after Demir was appointed to a position in Cizre. Of course, he also does not believe that it is a coincidence that the timing of the release of the Ergenekon defendants and the start of incidents in Cizre coincide.
After Demir was assigned to Cizre, there was a sharp rise in mass demonstrations. We all observed what happened this year in Cizre when a 12-year-old boy, Nihat Kazanhan, was shot dead on Jan. 14.
Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy Altan Tan was the first politician who argued that incidents in the district skyrocketed after Demir was appointed.
Of course the court will investigate if there was a link between Küçük and Demir. It is the duty of the court to find out if this link had something to do with the murder.
But I don’t think it is a coincidence that the incidents halted abruptly when the Ergenekon defendants were jailed in 2007, but resumed after they were released from prison; and that children were being killed by the police and the prime minister and interior minister try to conceal this fact.
Given the rumors that Ergenekon had made a deal with the government, I believe these incidents are expected.
My source is of the same opinion. “Ergenekon has become extremely successful with the minor efforts it exerted in previous governments’ terms and it has secured its former position in the state thanks to the agreement it made with the ruling party. Our country is in a difficult position compared to the past, and we now face the risk of division of our territory.”
Previously, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) had chosen Yüksekova as its pilot area. Now, it has picked Cizre as a more suitable place for Serhildan (rebellion in Kurdish). Is it a coincidence that Demir was appointed to Cizre? Perhaps Demir has nothing to do with these incidents, but others may be laying a trap for him. The court must investigate it…