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Turkish Press Scanner

Turkish Press Scanner
Turkish Daily News Online, Turkish Press Scanner Section

6 November, 1996, Copyright © Turkish Daily News

Turkish Press Scanner

Gladio meets a truck

From a Nov. 5 article by Radikal's Mehmet Ali Yilmaz: The traffic accident which took place in Susurluk Sunday evening has caused yet another tiny bit of the network of dirty relations surrounding Turkey to come to the surface. What were a member of Parliament and a notorious criminal doing in the same car -- what deal were they after when their car collided with a truck? What are their connections to other state institutions? These questions will be discussed for a long time to come.

Will we be able to follow the clue this time -- to pull up the rope and start unravelling the plots obviously surrounding the Turkish Republic? Or will our perennial problem recur and allow us to simply choose to forget all about this tangle of dark relationships?

There are so many questions which require answers. Abdullah Catli (one of the three who died in the accident) was responsible for the torture deaths of seven members of the Turkish Labor Party in Bahcelievler district of Ankara in the 1970s. Does his relationship with certain state bodies date back to that time?

It was no secret either that about five months after the horrible Bahcelievler massacre this same individual was one of the persons who organized the escape from a high security military prison of Mehmet Ali Agca, murderer of Milliyet editor in chief Abdi Ipekci. Was this abduction also the work of certain secret state organizations who used Catli in their various operations?

Catli's fingerprints can also be found in the elimination of Tarik Umit, a man claimed to have been involved in certain secret operations.

Is it true that Sanliurfa Deputy Sedat Bucak, who controls one of the major armed groups in the Southeast, had been involved in certain organizations with the incumbent interior minister, Mehmet Agar? Was the TL 500 billion (then prime minister) Tansu Ciller spent from the prime ministry slush fund channeled into that armed gang?

Can the claims that state units have eliminated persons in illegal ways be ignored any longer? There are claims to the effect that certain "mafia godfathers," such as Omer Lutfu Topal and Behcet Canturk, have been killed because they engaged in a narcotics war with this gang. Was Catli used as a gunman in such jobs as well?

Interior Minister Agar had said that the policemen who were involved in the Tevfik Agansoy case (the so-called mafia head recently shot dead -- allegedly by fellow "godfather" Alaaddin Cakici -- in Istanbul while in the company of a number of policemen) happened to be at that spot "by accident." Yesterday he described as "coincidence" the fact that the above-mentioned unusual trio were traveling in the same car when the traffic accident took place.

Is it not significant that so many "coincidences" taking place involve the same names? As of today every person who loves their country has an important duty. For all of us it must be a top priority issue to clarify all these claims and make Turkey a republic where the supremacy of the law prevails. Parliament must set aside the day to day clashes of political interest and show that sovereignty is vested in it -- not in a number of gangs. All the honest civil servants working in the implicated state bodies should help unearth the relevant facts so that they can clear their names of this muck. In Italy, investigation of a murder in which the victim was a money launderer triggered "accidentally" the famous "Gladio" investigation. For all we know, the traffic accident in Susurluk may lead to the unearthing of extensions in the state mechanism of the "Turkish Gladio," which has collided with a truck.

8,000 commandos cross into Iraq

MILLIYET said that the Turkish army launched a new limited cross-border security operation. Some 8,000 commandos crossed into northern Iraq from Semdinli, starting a "sweep up" operation against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) camps in the Bredost region. Crossing the border from three points, members of the Hakkari Mountain and Commando Brigade are proceeding in a wide "arc" formation. They are expected to go 15 kilometers inside the border. Since the latest operation began 25 terrorists have been killed in the area in shootouts.

Catli was protected by the police

A HURRIYET headline said, "The state knew about the dirty relationships."A traffic accident in Susurluk-Balikesir Sunday evening killed former police chief, Huseyin Kocadag, and Abdullah Catli, a "mafia" leader and a prime suspect in a number of terrorist cases. The True Path Party (DYP) Sanliurfa deputy, Sedat Bucak, who was travelling in the same car with them, was seriously injured. The state knew about these dirty relationships.

The National Intelligence Organization (MIT) had in fact presented a detailed report to the government specifying that Catli was at the Ankara Sheraton Hotel on Aug.24, 1996 in the company of a delegation from Brunei. He arrived at the hotel in a BMW with false identification plates (06 KE 889). Though police had been informed about his whereabouts no one apprehended him.

An official who wanted to remain anonymous told HURRIYET, "He was carrying a police identification card. How could we take action against him?" MIT had determined that Catli had a close relationship with both the DYP deputy, Bucak clan chief Sedat Bucak and police chief Huseyin Kocadag, and that he had been issued a card which identified him as a police officer. A recent MIT report stressed the fact that a criminal wanted by the local police and the Interpol had been issued a police identification card as well as a "green passport" which armed him with diplomatic immunity. The outlines of the MIT report were reported by daily AYDINLIK and the news was not denied. The MIT report in question gave detailed information about Catli's telephone conversations. According to the report Catli, who engaged in heroin smuggling, kidnapped M. Ali Yaprak, the owner of a local TV station named Yaprak TV in Gaziantep on May 25, 1996 for ransom. He kept Yaprak in Siverek at a house belonging to one of the Bucaks, then released him in return for a DM 4 million ransom. Catli phoned Ali Yasak, a leading "underworld figure" four times and Sedat Bucak five times in a few days starting on the day on which Tarik Umit disappeared mysteriously, that is, Mar.4, 1995. During the same few days he had numerous telephone conversations with certain police officials some of them are still on duty. IP leader Dogu Perincek had sent "copies" of the "MIT report" in question to the president of the republic and to the speaker of Parliament, with the latter reportedly giving a reply along the lines of, "We can not possibly examine that report."A MILLIYET headline said, "The big corruption" and a SABAH headline, "Turkey needs a super prosecutor". Another MILLIYET headline said, "Did they meet with Cakici?" It is being claimed that former deputy security director of Istanbul Huseyin Kocadag, now Director of a Police College, had sought Sedat Bucak's help to work out a reconciliation between him and the so-called "Godfather" Alaaddin Cakici who is at large. Cakici had a verbal duel with Kocadag via the news media during the Civangate scandal. Catli was reportedly the key name in the aborted coup in Azerbaijan which delivered a blow to Turkey's relations with that country. Huseyin Kocadag, the police official who died in the accident, was one of the founders of the "special security teams" operating in the Southeast. Sanliurfa Deputy Sedat Bucak who was injured in the accident had, along with his clan, declared war on the PKK and "cleared up many parts" of the Southeast from the PKK. Lately he reportedly had an ongoing "fight" with the recently-uncovered so-called "uniformed gang" of the Soylemez brothers, a narcotics smuggling and abduction for ransom gang said to consist of members of the army, the police force and the mafia.

Agar: 'They were delivering Catli to the authorities'

HURRIYET quoted Interior Minister Mehmet Agar saying, "We hear that they (Sedat Bucak and Huseyin Kocadag) were bringing Abdullah Catli to Istanbul to deliver him (to the authorities)." Another HURRIYET item recounted in detail how Sedat Bucak, Huseyin Kocadag, Abdullah Catli and Catli's girlfriend spent the weekend together in Kusadasi tourism resort.

'Ciller's private crime organization'

CUMHURIYET quoted Labor Party (IP) leader Dogu Perincek as saying that there was a single factor which brought together the four persons who were involved in a mysterious traffic accident in Susurluk. Maintaining that Abdullah Catli, who died in the incident, was the leader of the so-called ulkucu (ultra-rightist) mafia, he said, "Catli was at the same time one of the key names in the private organization set by Ciller-Agar (deputy PM and interior minister respectively). He took part in the coup attempt staged in Azerbaijan against Aliyev. They want to set up a government with mafia chiefs."

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