‘Sakık plotted killings of 33 soldiers upon Ergenekon order’

December 06, 2008, Saturday/ 18:19:00/ İSMAİL AVCI
The jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, has claimed that the killings of several Turkish soldiers in eastern Bingöl in 1993 were the work of a former PKK leader who had received orders from a clandestine criminal network suspected of plotting to overthrow the government.Öcalan discussed the killings of 33 Turkish soldiers in Bingöl in 1993 with his lawyers, who quoted him as saying that the killings were plotted by Şemdin Sakık upon an order from the Ergenekon criminal network, many members of which currently stand trial for allegedly making preparations to overthrow the government.

"I don't understand why Sakık did such a thing. Each time I asked him about the incident, he gave different responses. I don't imply that Sakık had direct links with Ergenekon, but he was definitely used by the group," Öcalan reportedly said.

Öcalan also said he would tell all he knew about the killings provided that a justice and law commission is founded to investigate the incident.

"If such a commission is established, light will be shed on similar events. State courts cannot conduct investigations into such incidents. There may be jurists, academic or politicians in the commission to be founded. In this way, the public can decide who is right and who is wrong and who wanted the goodness of Turkey and who harmed it," he stated.

Speaking yesterday at the weekly briefing of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), the head of the General Staff's Communications Department, Lt. Gen. Metin Gürak, recalled that judicial and administrative probes of the killings were previously carried out and completed.

He also said the murder of Col. Rıdvan Özden, a gendarmerie commander at the Mardin Provincial Gendarmerie Command, in 1995 was also the work of the PKK.

Özden's death is suspected to be related to a secret and illicit military intelligence unit known as JİTEM, which was engaged in several illegal acts, including drug and human-smuggling and arms trade with the PKK.

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