Thursday, March 11, 2021

Elusive

"Elusive figure of Syrian war dies with secrets in Turkey" (Tastekin). This 'traffic accident' is weirdly similar to how they caught those Grey Wolves members who were intertwined with the government.

"Hailing from Syria’s predominantly Turkmen region of Bayir Bucak in the Latakia countryside, Topalca had allegedly collaborated with Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) to arm Turkmens in the region against the Syrian government. He had also led a jihadi Turkmen faction there, where he was dubbed “ghost commander” for his ability to freely conduct all sorts of smuggling operations. According to a 2014 police report, Topalca had entered and exited Turkey 873 times from 2011 to 2014. How he had managed to travel with such ease during a time frame in which his name was implicated in several investigations over terror-related crimes remains an open question, fanning claims that he had been collaborating with the authorities.

Moreover, Topalca was arrested multiple times by security forces only to be freed every time — another indication that he was under some sort of protection. But he also held many secrets. That’s why the car crash that claimed his life evokes the memorable road accident near the northwestern town of Susurluk in 1996, which exposed ties between the Turkish state and the underworld as a senior police chief, a parliamentarian and a wanted hitman turned out to be among the passengers in one of the vehicles.

Unlike Susurluk, Topalca’s death was hardly reported in the Turkish press, which is under the strict control of the government."
and (my emphasis in red):
"In October 2013 a Turkish court released Topalca. However, when an expert report sent to the court established the chemical substances found in the men’s possession could indeed be used to make sarin nerve gas, the court issued an arrest warrant for Topalca. He was never apprehended. He was convicted of terrorism-related charges and sentenced to 12 years in jail in absentia. The opposition accused the government of a cover-up.

Another controversy that Topalca was implicated in was the Nov. 7, 2013, seizure of a truck in Adana which carried 933 rocket heads. The driver of the truck claimed that the cargo belonged to Topalca. He was detained, but he was released with the help of a secret hand, only to be implicated in a fresh controversy a few months later.

In January 2014, acting on a tip-off, Turkish prosecutors issued a warrant for three Syria-bound trucks allegedly carrying weapons to al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in Syria. Security forces stopped the trucks in Adana, but the men in a vehicle accompanying the trucks identified themselves as members of the MIT and stopped the search. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan argued that the trucks carried humanitarian supplies to Bayir Bucak Turkmens, but few were convinced. The prosecutors who issued the warrant were later arrested as part of the government’s crackdown on Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of masterminding the 2016 coup attempt."
It is difficult not to wonder if this isn't part of the same clean-up operation that took care of Le Mesurier .
blog comments powered by Disqus