Suspects of 19 extrajudicial killings acquitted by Turkish court

News About Turkey - NAT
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All suspects were acquitted on Friday in Turkey in a lawsuit filed against former state officials including Mehmet Agar, former national police chief and interior minister, retired lieutenant colonel Korkut Eken, former special warfare officer and a former official of Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT), and Ibrahim Sahin, former head of the police special forces.

The suspects faced allegations in the case over forming an illegal organization within state ranks and the extrajudicial killings of nineteen people.

The suspects had earlier been acquitted by an Ankara court but the decision was overturned by the appeals court on 5 April 2021.

One of the suspects, former special forces officer Ayhan Carkin, had confessed back in June 2011 to taking part in murdering Necip Baskin, the head of the registrar’s office in Ankara’s Altindag district, and lawyers Yusuf Ekinci and Faik Candan.

Carkin had also stated that he and his friends were operating under the command of Ibrahim Sahin, and that Sahin was acting under Agar.

Today’s hearing in Ankara was attended by representatives of Turkey’s Union of Bar Associations (TBB), Human Rights Association (IHD) and Association of Lawyers for Freedom (OHD).

Lawyer Eren Baskin, the son of Necip Baskin, was heard by the court. He said, on behalf of the victims’ families:

“We want to find out what happened to the nineteen victims. We will now have to seek the truth in the streets. In countries like Argentina and Colombia, the perpetrators of extrajudicial killings faced justice and were punished. But the panel will acquit the accused here. I reject the prosecution’s comments. My father has not come home for 30 years. We could not capture his murderer. Our struggle won’t end here.”

Lawyer Ozturk Turkdogan, former IHD co-chair, said:

“The court addressed none of the objections of the appeals court. While politicians who called for demonstrations to prevent persecution of Kurds in Kobani are currently facing possible life imprisonment sentences and have been incarcerated for years, the accused in this lawsuit are not even in custody. What we should be expecting from a state of law is a fair trial and the determination to discover the truth.”

The court acquitted all suspects in the case.

27 years after the Susurluk Scandal

The 19 victims allegedly killed by suspects include Savas Buldan, late husband of pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Pervin Buldan, Kurdish drug trader Behcet Canturk, Omer Lutfi Topal – known as “king of casinos” – and MIT agent Tarik Umit, whose murders were the main focus of investigations following the Susurluk Scandal.

The scandal that erupted after a traffic accident in November 1996, which killed police chief Huseyin Kocadag, Grey Wolf Abdullah Catli, and wounded deputy Sedat Bucak in the same car, was seen in the second half of 1990s as an opportunity to deal with the illegal activities of state officials; activities including not only forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of political dissidents, but also drug trade, extortion and bribe.

Source: Gerçek News

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