‘Murdered police chief Okkan warned in advance by General Staff’

March 05, 2012, Monday/ 16:01:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

A local businessman in Diyarbakır province, Mehmet Ali Altındağ, has claimed that the General Staff had warned Diyarbakır Police Chief Gaffar Okkan about the arrival of a group of outlawed Hizbullah organization members to the province before his assassination.

Okkan was killed, along with five police officers who were guarding him, on Jan. 24, 2001. The assassination was attributed to Turkish Hizbullah, a religious extremist group.

Mehmet Ali Altındağ, a businessman and local newspaper owner in Diyarbakır province, made striking claims on Sunday to a Cihan news agency reporter about Okkan's assassination.

Altındağ claimed that the General Staff and the Diyarbakır 7th Army Corps Command had warned Okkan about the impending arrival of 27 members from the outlawed Hizbullah organization, branded as a fundamentalist terrorist organization by the Turkish state, saying, “They might kill you, be careful!” Altındağ also added that the General Staff had sent a list of names of these 27 Hizbullah members to Okkan.

Claiming that Hizbullah is a fabricated organization operating on behalf of the “deep state,” Altındağ hinted that Okkan was assassinated by generals from Ergenekon, a clandestine gang charged with plotting to overthrow the government.

Altındağ also stated that Okkan had been invited to a meeting at the governor's office, along with the state of emergency regional governor and the gendarmerie regiment commander at the time. “Although Okkan had been invited, he was not let in. After waiting for awhile, Okkan left. Soon after the departure of the police chief, the meeting ended. Okkan was killed two hours after the meeting. Why did you invite him, if you wouldn't let him in? There is a 90 percent chance that JİTEM [an illegal intelligence unit within the gendarmerie] or the ‘deep state' killed him. What was their reason, then? They aimed to create the idea that reactionaries are behind all unsolved murders or massacres,” he said.

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