Ergenekon suspect confesses to watching ministers' moves

April 05, 2012, Thursday/ 15:18:00

A suspect on trial in the case of Ergenekon, a clandestine network charged with plotting to overthrow the government, admitted in his March 13 testimony delivered at a closed court hearing that a former gendarmerie intelligence commander had ordered his unit to watch every move of government ministers in critical positions.

Ergenekon suspect Yüksel Dilsiz, who is out on bail pending trial, made important admissions about former Gendarmerie Intelligence Commander Levent Ersöz, stating that Ersöz ordered that every move of some deputies and ministers be watched. Dilsiz also said it was his job to track religious communities and gather information about their members

Suspect Yüksel Dilsiz, who is out on bail pending trial, made important admissions about former Gendarmerie Intelligence Commander Levet Ersöz -- one of the key suspects in the trial -- in his March 13 testimony, the details of which have only now emerged.

“We tracked religious communities with Gen. Ersöz in Bursa. We followed every move of about 70 deputies and ministers in Ankara -- particularly Bülent Arınç, but also Abdülkadir Aksu and Cemil Çiçek. All the ministers who served in key positions. We monitored their every move, including their personal lives.”

At the March 13, 2012 hearing of the case by the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court, Dilsiz requested a closed session. Presiding Judge Hasan Hüseyin accepted the request, and ordered the courtroom cleared. Dilsiz testified again on March 15, April 2 and April 3, all of which were closed hearings. On Tuesday, the other suspects as well as observers were allowed back into the courtroom. Dilsiz's testimony was shared with the lawyers and suspects on Tuesday.

Dilsiz told the court that he had served as a gendarmerie intelligence officer for a long time, during which he came to know Gen. Ersöz, who served at the Bursa Gendarmerie Regional Command at the time. He said in Bursa, most intelligence information was gathered about religious communities. “How can a religious community be broken up? How can one find intelligence against such groups? These were [the questions] I worked on. We prepared a 460-page document called Rüzgar001 that identified and contained personal information about members of religious communities.”

He said he even had to work on holidays to complete Rüzgar001. He later said Ersöz had thanked him, saying, “Gen. [Şener] Eruygur is very grateful for your work.”

Dilsiz also denied testimony from Ersöz that Ersöz hardly knew him. Ersöz had testified, “We worked with him for a very short time, and our contact with him ceased after [we decided] most of the intelligence he had gathered was useless.” Dilsiz says he worked under Ersöz's orders for four years, starting in 2002. “So it took this powerful general four years to understand that the work I was doing was useless?” Dilsiz asked the court.

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