Zirve prosecutor asks testimony of witness mentioned in book

February 22, 2011, Tuesday/ 17:51:00

A specially authorized prosecutor overseeing the case into the 2007 Zirve publishing house murders has demanded the court listen to a secret witness that a recently published book says previously testified to İstanbul prosecutors.

The witness is mentioned in “Bi Ermeni Var: Dink Operasyonunun Şifreleri” (There’s this Armenian: The Codes of the Dink Operation) authored by journalist Adem Yavuz Arslan, who seeks to shed light on some of the suspicious aspects of the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was shot dead by a nationalist teenager in broad daylight in front of his office four years ago. The book also has a section on the Zirve murders, which the author says were part of the same plot to kill Dink.

The Anatolia news agency reported yesterday that the Malatya specially authorized prosecutor sent a statement to the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and demanded all related documents be sent to Malatya. He also asked the Malatya 3rd High Criminal Court, which is currently hearing the Zirve case, to hear the secret witness.

In the book, Arslan quotes the secret witness who reportedly testified to İstanbul prosecutors in late 2010, saying the gendarmerie organized the Zirve murders.

In April 2007, two Turkish nationals, Necati Aydın and Uğur Yüksel, and a German national, Tilman Ekkehart Geske, were tied to chairs, tortured and repeatedly stabbed at the Zirve Publishing House in the southeastern Anatolian city of Malatya before their throats were slit as police arrived on the scene. The publishing house they worked for printed Bibles and Christian literature.

Suspects Abuzer Yıldırım, Cuma Özdemir, Salih Gürler and Hamit Çeker were apprehended at the scene and immediately taken into custody, while Emre Günaydın jumped from a third-story window in an attempt to escape from police and was taken into custody after being treated for injuries. A total of nine men have been charged in connection with the murders.

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