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MERVE BÜŞRA ÖZTÜRK

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MERVE BÜŞRA ÖZTÜRK
November 09, 2012, Friday

‘Terrorist witness’

A secret witness in the case against the Ergenekon terrorist organization has recently disclosed his real identity as Şemdin Sakık, a former commander of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and gave statements to the court about the shadowy relations between the PKK and Ergenekon.

Some have great concerns about the court hearing the testimony of a former terrorist in one of Turkey’s most crucial cases while others argue that because he had an important role in the organization, he is an even better choice for a witness.

Bugün’s Gülay Göktürk says it is almost impossible not to react over Sakık being a witness in the Ergenekon case, considering the lies he previously made about a number of journalists and how he acted under the command of Ergenekon plotters. It is impossible to believe or guarantee that such a dangerous man with such a dark past won’t manipulate the judiciary.

All of these are reasonable concerns. But from another side of the issue, who else can prosecutors speak with to better learn about the shady ties between Ergenekon and the PKK? Similarly, if PKK chiefs Murat Karayılan and Bahoz Erdal are caught, won’t we make them talk or question them about the structure and plans of the organization? What matters here is whether we trust the members of the court or not.

The truth is, while the judiciary or the police force tries to make use of “shady people,” trying to get information from them, these same people also try to use the police or the judiciary to either save themselves or to advance some larger plot. What is of utmost significance here is not the credibility of the witness but the intentions, authority and intelligence of those listening to the witness who should realize the difference between the truth and lies, she says.

Sabah’s Mahmut Övür focuses on Sakık’s testimony in which he spoke about the murder of 33 unarmed off-duty soldiers in Bingöl in 1993, saying it occurred because of the state’s negligence. Övür thinks it is “unbelievable” that Sakık called a series of unsolved murders in 1993 a “secret coup” and said that the murder of the soldiers was a result of the state’s negligence. Sakık is not telling the truth and remains silent about the crucial information that he has. Övür also thinks Sakık might be sending a secret message to some people with his testimony.

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