In the recordings that were shared yesterday, a voice that allegedly belongs to Hatay Idealist Clubs President L.K. is heard saying “Let's burn everything down while we have the chance.” In the same recording, the person asks another individual whether a gas-tank filler whose store had been stoned by the crowds during the incidents is pro-AK Party. Those in the recording also reveal plans to raid local coffee-houses ran by Kurdish residents. One person is heard saying, “There is no return, the preparations for the night are complete.”
In related developments, an anonymous caller deliberately gave a false tip to the Hatay police to stop officers from pursuing the vehicle of a local MHP mayor, whose vehicle was used in an attack that took the lives of four police officers in the city in late July. The caller is a member of the gendarmerie, the Star daily reported yesterday.
Four police officers were killed in the district of Dörtyol in Hatay province on July 26. One hour after the incident, the police started following the vehicle of Bestami Kılıç, the mayor of the district of Paylas, upon suspicion that the attack had been launched from that vehicle. Kılıç is affiliated with the MHP. As the pursuit continued, the police received a tip through the 155 emergency line that threw them off their tracks. The caller, who phoned at 7:30 p.m. on the same day, said three civilians had launched the attack from a Renault Broadway with the license plate 63 ZN 134. The attack was attributed to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with Kılıç claiming that he had been kidnapped by PKK militants who stole and used his car to attack the police patrol vehicle carrying the four officers who were killed.
The Star daily yesterday reported that after the false tip-off by an anonymous caller, the police withdrew some of the officers in pursuit of the car and directed them to search for the automobile described by the caller. A car bearing a Şanlıurfa license plate was stopped and taken to the police station, while the car that carried the real attackers vanished. Meanwhile, Dörtyol residents -- acting on rumors that those inside the vehicle taken to the police station were the killers of the four officers -- raided the police station, demanding that the suspects be handed over to them.
Someone in the crowd opened fire on Mehmet Bozkurt, one of the individuals in the vehicle. The incidents led to days of rioting and provocations in Dörtyol. The police were able to reveal the identity of the caller who gave the false tip that led the police to lose track of the real vehicle. His identity has been established as M.D., a special sergeant in the gendarmerie.
Meanwhile, investigators have established that the people with whom the MHP’s Kılıç spoke to shortly before the attack between 2 p.m. and 2:30 pm were gendarmerie intelligence NCO A.U. and Spc. Sgt. E.G. and Spc. Sgt. T.L.
Assassination just for show
An anonymous letter sent to the prosecutor’s office on Aug. 27 claimed that the solicitors of the incidents were the administrators of the Idealist Hearths and local MHP administrators. The letter also said that a group from the Hatay Idealist Hearths planned to assassinate Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to stage a “show.” The author of the letter also claimed that he was the person who was offered to do the job. “They were going to blame this on the AK Party. They offered me the job.”
There have also been documents proving that the fire department that functions under the MHP Dörtyol Municipality did not intervene in a fire that threatened the local office of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and 30 business offices owned by individuals of Kurdish ethnicity.
Deputy Police Chief Halil Güldalı and Police officer Gökhan Murat Mergan added a log entry in the incident reported that stated that the fire truck, with license plate number 31 PY 19, was supposed to extinguish the fire but did not intervene and that the personnel on duty had announced to the officers that they were not going to fight the fire. Despite the officers’ warnings that their declaration would go on the record, the firefighters dismissed them, saying, “Report whatever you want.”
The police report also says that the fire truck returned to the municipality, located in the opposite direction of the fire, after the altercation with the officers. Police officers also said they transmitted this information via radio to the Police Department. However, the fire trucks never returned. The fire was put out by water cannons on police panzers.
MHP mayor meets with Berk
Many suspicious bits of information have been leaked since the attack in July. In August, the Taraf daily reported that the MHP’s Kılıç who was briefly detained in connection with the attack, had met with three officers from the gendarmerie’s intelligence unit, known as JİTEM, several hours before the PKK attack.
Initial news reports suggested that Kılıç met with high-ranking officers at a military barracks before informing the police about his stolen vehicle. According to reports, Kılıç was taken to the barracks by gendarmerie officers after his vehicle was stolen. At the barracks, the MHP member met with a general and a colonel. The reports did not provide any details about the content of their meeting.
A few days after later, however, Taraf claimed that the meeting between Kılıç and the high-ranking military officers took place at the 6th Army Corps. The sole general at the corps was Gen. Saldıray Berk, the daily said. Berk is currently a suspect in the ongoing investigation into a military coup plan titled the Sledgehammer Security Operation Plan. An İstanbul court recently decided to arrest him along with 101 other officers.