MİT official says he ‘knows much’ about past atrocities

Mehmet Eymür (Photo: AA)

December 02, 2011, Friday/ 15:35:00

A retired department head from the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) who was summoned to testify in an ongoing investigation into a series of unsolved assassinations in the 1990s has declared there is “much that I know” in his testimony to the Ankara Specially Authorized Prosecutor's Office.

Mehmet Eymür, former head of MİT's Counterterrorism Unit, gave names and provided detailed information about illegal and clandestine groups nested inside the state hierarchy, sources close to the investigation have said. Eymür provided much detail about the Susurluk gang, named after the township of Susurluk in Turkey's northwest, where in 1996 a road accident led to the revelation of an unseemly partnership between the police, politicians and the mafia.

An internationally wanted mafia boss and a police chief were killed when the Mercedes they were travelling in together was hit by a truck. A third person in the car, who was a member of Parliament from a province in southeastern Turkey and the head of a Kurdish clan of village guards (locals armed by the state to fight the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK]) was injured and claimed he lost his memory after the accident. The crash and the investigation revealed clandestine links and an illegal network formed by powerful individuals in state agencies; however, those at the top of that network have managed to remain in the shadows.

Eymür was detained earlier this week at his Sarıyer home by police and a large number of documents and crucial evidence regarding various murders that took place in the '90s were seized during a search of his home. A number of hard disk drives, CDs and tapes were retrieved, as well as pictures documenting the shady links between state officials, politicians and the underworld. These are now being examined by experts at criminology laboratories of the police department.

Sources say a notebook with names of people involved in illegal structures inside the state, as well as details of the organizational make up of the network, was also seized during the search.

Eymür was released on Wednesday but barred from travelling out of the country. He has responded to all the questions directed to him by the prosecution, cumulating in nine pages of testimony, sources close to the investigation have said.

The former MİT member provided names, details and listed some of the atrocities committed by the members of these illegal networks during the '90s which had the objective of manipulating and shaping public opinion in favor of the political and personal agendas of the members of the network.

During his testimony an important question was raised about Yeşil, an alias used by Mahmut Yıldırım, a hitman who is believed to have carried out most of the “dirty work” of the illegal formations inside the state. He has managed to remain elusive for much of his life and has been presumed dead for many years.

Eymür reportedly said that Yeşil did not work for MİT, but was part of JİTEM, an illegal intelligence unit secretly founded in the 90s to fight PKK terrorism “more effectively.” JİTEM's existence was officially acknowledged only this year, despite overwhelming evidence of its existence being present long before the official acknowledgement by the Interior Ministry, which officially said in a response to a query filed by a court hearing a JİTEM related trial that the organization “had existed,” although observers suspect it might still be functional.

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