A terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) member has confessed to police to having shot Asuman Akça, a former member of the far-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), just as she was planning to reveal the group's ties to the Ergenekon terrorist organization.
Akça was shot in the head in her İstanbul home on Oct. 24. She is currently undergoing medical treatment, and doctors say she is in critical condition. S.A. was captured by İstanbul police on Oct. 28 on suspicion of being connected to the attack. The man declined to reveal the purpose of the attack at first, but he recently told the police that he was ordered to assassinate Akça as she had plans to make public the ties between the DHKP/C and Ergenekon.
Ergenekon is a shadowy network nested within the state bureaucracy which is believed to be behind a large number of assassinations and other activities which the group hoped would eventually lead to the overthrow of the government.
Akça, who was responsible for the coordination of the DHKP/C's activities in İstanbul, was arrested in 2008 on the grounds that she was preparing to assassinate Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. A prosecutor demanded that she be sentenced to up to 55 years in prison, but the court hearing the case against her failed to reach a verdict despite the fact that more than four years have passed since Akça's arrest, and Akça was released pending trial in March as part of a judicial reform package.
Shortly after her release, Akça told the media that she would reveal the ties between the DHKP/C and Ergenekon. However, she was found shot in the head, though not dead, in her house on Oct. 24.
According to the assailant, S.A., whom the İstanbul police defined as a member of the PKK, the DHKP/C and the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP), the DHKP/C wanted to silence Akça to prevent her from exposing the group's links to Ergenekon. “Akça told [the media] that she was used by some circles and that she would make public all she knew [about the DHKP/C and Ergenekon]. I received orders to assassinate her,” S.A. reportedly told police.
This is not the first time Turkey has heard about links between the DHKP/C and Ergenekon. In December 2010, police discovered that a bomb seized as part of an operation against the DHKP/C carried the same serial numbers as those on bombs discovered during an investigation into Ergenekon. In addition, police seized personal notes written by Ergenekon suspect Yalçın Küçük which provided the police with clues to the relationship Ergenekon had with other terrorist groups, including the DHKP/C.