Sedat Peker, a mafia boss who is already under arrest and is also now facing trial for involvement in Ergenekon, has said his testimony will show that former Police Chief Hanefi Avcı is an administrator in Ergenekon, not simply a member.
Ergenekon is a clandestine criminal group accused of planning to overthrow the government. Dozens of suspected members of the group are currently in prison on coup charges. Avcı was arrested last year on charges of aiding and abetting the Revolutionary Headquarters terrorist organization, which was behind a deadly attack in İstanbul in 2009. Avcı is also suspected of ties with Ergenekon.
Peker spoke to weekly newsmagazine Aksiyon through his lawyer. “I will provide an explanation to the court about Avcı and his team. I believe my testimony will automatically spur the prosecutor’s office to action. Avcı will be tried for being an Ergenekon administrator rather than just a member after my explanation,” he stated.
Peker also disclosed that Avcı had redirected many informants to him when Avcı was serving as a police chief in Diyarbakır. However, he did not say from which organization or group the informants came. “The informants got out of control after a while and turned into a clandestine group,” he noted. He also claimed that the informants were caught red-handed when committing crimes, but they escaped punishment after Avcı prevented legal action against them. In addition, Peker said Avcı met the financial needs of the informants from his police department budget.
The mafia leader’s remarks echoed arguments by retired Col. Arif Doğan, also a jailed suspect in the Ergenekon case, in his book “JİTEM’i Ben Kurdum” (I Established JİTEM). JİTEM is an illegal intelligence unit inside the gendarmerie whose existence has been denied by the General Staff. It is believed to have been responsible for thousands of unsolved murders in eastern and southeastern Turkey in the 1990s. In his book, Doğan argued that Avcı’s informants had set up a clandestine organization in İstanbul. “Avcı sent informants to İstanbul. Why did he send them to İstanbul? To have them pursue a career? What I believe is that they were sent to form a clandestine group.”