A new book reveals that Mehmet Ülger, who served as the Malatya Provincial Gendarmerie Brigade commander in 2007, had allegedly wiretapped many public officials in Malatya based on false reasons given in official documents.
Ülger, who was arrested last year when a major operation was carried out as part of the Ergenekon probe on suspected links with the 2007 Zirve Publishing House murders in Malatya in which three people who sold Christian literature were killed, was allegedly instrumental in creating false documents to have many people wiretapped in the province.
One of those was noncommissioned officer Hüseyin Aslanpençesi, who was wiretapped on the basis that he was smuggling historical artifacts. And Pator Behnan Konutgan, who was allegedly on the list of Christians to be assassinated, was wiretapped on the basis that he belonged to radical religious groups. Gökhan Talas, a Christian who called the police when no one answered the door at the Zirve Publishing House on the day of the murder on April 18, 2007, was also wiretapped on the basis of belonging to radical religious groups.
Hüseyin Yelki, who was working at the publishing house, was also wiretapped on the same grounds. In addition, Suzanna Geske, the wife of German national Tilmann Ekkehart Geske, who was killed at the publishing house, was also wiretapped on the same grounds.
Ülger also fabricated documents to have Malatya prosecutors and judges wiretapped on the basis that they belonged to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) or Hizbullah. Ülger allegedly blackmailed some of these prosecutors.
These details were revealed by journalist Adem Yavuz Arslan in his book, “Ergenekon'un Zirvesi: Dink'ten Malatya'ya Azınlıklar Nasıl Hedef Oldu?” (Ergenekon's Peak: How were minorities targeted from Dink to Malatya?).
Another detail emerging from the book is that chief suspect Emre Günaydın's father, Mustafa Günaydın, might have been involved in the planning of the murders as he called the Malatya gendarmerie from his phone prior to the murders.
In May 2008, a letter sent by an individual identified as Ali Arslan to the Malatya 3rd High Criminal Court, currently hearing the 2007 murder case, claimed that Emre Günaydın was provoked by Ülger.
The case, related to Ergenekon, a clandestine criminal network charged with plotting to topple the government by creating large-scale chaos in the country, is ongoing.
The Malatya murders are thought to be part of the Cage Action Plan, a subversive plot allegedly devised by military officers that sought to undermine the government through the assassination of non-Muslims and other acts of terror. The Cage plan was allegedly drawn up at the order of Ergenekon. Cage plan documents specifically call the killings of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, Catholic priest Father Andrea Santoro and the three Christians in Malatya an “operation.” An anti-democratic group within the Naval Forces Command behind the Cage plan had intended to foment chaos in society with those killings, but complained that the plan had failed when large segments of society protested the killings in mass demonstrations.