A leaked document has revealed that a large cache of arms was on its way to Syria under the guise of humanitarian aid, online news portal T24 reported.
The document signed by security services and main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Bülent Tezcan was published by the T24 on Friday, indicating that officials from the Turkish spy agency quickly seized trucks carrying arms to Syria while security services could take note what is inside the truck, including visual confirmation.
The trucks that were intercepted by security services on Jan. 19 in Ceyhan district of Adana have been hotly debated in Turkey, only months before key local elections, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described the incident as "treason." Turkish prime minister and President Abdullah Gül said what the trucks were carrying is a "state secret," but said it was only humanitarian aid to Turkmens in Syria.
According to Turkish laws, it is illegal to export arms to Syria regardless of the destination of the weaponry. Erdoğan has been an ardent supporter of rebels fighting to oust Syria's embattled President Bashar al-Assad and media reports frequently confirmed that the Turkish border has been used to transfer arms to the Syrian rebels. Ankara didn't explicitly deny that arms didn't cross the Syrian border, with Erdoğan only saying that the "Syria-bound weapons didn't originate from Turkey."
The truck incident in Adana resulted in a separate investigation and Erdoğan publicly lashed out at a court, which released detained members of police officers who participated in the raid of the trucks. Prosecutors who ordered the interception of trucks were later removed from their posts and appointed several times to less influential positions, a widely used tactic by Ankara to force bureaucrats to resign.
The document that was unveiled on Friday verifies that the trucks were carrying rockets, missiles and rocket-launchers.
It was impossible for prosecutors to further investigate the trucks because the MİT said they belong to them. Recent amendment to a law regulating activities of MİT made it almost impossible to charge and indict officials from the spy agency over wrongdoing, pegging legal action against MİT officials to the permission of the prime minister.
Leaked document proves Syria-bound Turkish trucks were carrying arms
Prosecutors intercepted several trucks suspected of carrying arms to Syria in January, setting off a chain of events that resulted in reshuffle of prosecutors and security services. (Photo: Cihan, Ziya İpek)
August 01, 2014, Friday/ 19:55:52/ TODAYSZAMAN.COM / ISTANBUL