Mysterious state killer once spoke at length on Şahin’s gang

May 02, 2012, Wednesday/ 15:56:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

A shady killer who worked for illegitimate groups inside the state, such as JİTEM -- an illegal intelligence unit founded inside the gendarmerie believed to be responsible for most of the killings and disappearances that took place mostly in Kurdish regions in the 1990s -- testified to National Intelligence Organization (MİT) officers in 1995 about an armed group the former deputy chief of the National Police Department's Special Operations Unit, İbrahim Şahin, had established.

The whereabouts of Mahmut Yıldırım, more commonly known to the public as Yeşil, his alias, are unknown. Some assert he is dead, but there is no legal proof to draw such a conclusion. In fact, the man, who is believed to have killed dozens of people “on behalf of the state,” is wanted as a suspect in an ongoing investigation into several unsolved assassinations.

Yeşil was detained in 1995, shortly before he disappeared. He was questioned by MİT officials. His 10-page testimony includes information about Şahin, who is currently a key suspect in the trial regarding Ergenekon, a clandestine gang charged with overthrowing the government. The testimony has recently come to light as part of the unsolved murders investigation launched on Feb. 24 by Prosecutor Hakan Yüksel. One of the suspects in the investigation is Mehmet Eymür, a former MİT Counterterrorism Unit director. Eymür in his recent testimony said Yeşil gave information to MİT after he was detained by the Ankara Police Department in 1995. The Ankara Prosecutor's Office, which is investigating unsolved assassinations and the Diyarbakır Prosecutor's Office, which is conducting an investigation into JİTEM atrocities in the region in the 1990s, have been sent copies of Yeşil's testimony.

According to Yeşil's testimony, Şahin had a special team. He used his armed team extensively to intimidate businessmen to extort money. Yeşil also said one of the most loyal people to Şahin was a special ops officer called Ayhan. Another special ops officer mentioned as loyal to Şahin is named Sait in Yeşil's testimony.

The prosecutors believe that the Sait in Yeşil's testimony is Sait Yıldırım, a former special ops officer who killed himself with a bullet in the head nine months ago in his home in Ankara's Eryaman neighborhood. Ayhan is believed to be Ayhan Akça, another former special ops officer who was earlier detained but released in the investigation.

Yeşil told MİT that both special ops officers were fully aware of the illegal dealings of Şahin, and both men worked for Şahin, attending to his private business. Yeşil also mentions an air force NCO who retired from the military's Special Ops Unit, who was also part of the illegal dealings of Şahin and his squad.

Sources close to the prosecution say since Yeşil's testimony is a MİT-authorized document, it is likely to be treated as evidence in the investigation.

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