SUSURLUK'S CATLI WAS KILLED BY ERGENEKON, NEW WITNESS CLAIMS

Today's Zaman
April 29 2009
Turkey

The main figure in a scandalous 1996 car crash that for the first
time brought evidence to light showing links between the state and
illegal formations was killed by Ergenekon, a clandestine terrorist
organization charged with plotting to overthrow the government,
and not in the crash, according to new evidence made public on
Monday. Dossiers of evidence from the second indictment in the trial
of suspected members of Ergenekon were handed to defense attorneys
on Monday evening.

According to a witness whose testimony is included in the new dossiers,
Abdullah Catlı, an ultranationalist criminal who was thought to have
died in the 1996 Susurluk car crash, which exposed links between the
Turkish state, the criminal underworld and Turkish security forces,
was killed by Ergenekon. The Susurluk incident revealed that Catlı, a
leader of the ultranationalist Grey Wolves group, worked for the state.

Huseyin Kocadag, a former police chief; Sedat Bucak, a southeastern
tribal leader whose men were armed by the state to fight separatist
violence; and Catlı, an internationally wanted mafia boss, were
involved in an accident near the small township of Susurluk while
riding in the same car. Kocadag, Catlı and his girlfriend, a former
model, were allegedly killed in the accident. No arrests of major
figures were made as a result of the ensuing investigation, which
had actually exposed, for the first time in modern Turkish history,
a gang with links to the state. Retired Brig. Gen. Veli Kucuk, who
is currently in jail as an Ergenekon suspect, was detained but later
released during the Susurluk investigation.

The dossiers contain the testimony of a secret witness, referred to
as Kıskac (Pincer), who told the prosecution on Nov. 30, 2008, that a
senior gendarmerie master sergeant he identified as Hakan, who worked
for JÄ°TEM -- an illegal organization founded inside the gendarmerie
accused of hundreds of atrocities against civilians in the Southeast
-- revealed to him that Catlı had not died in the accident. Kıskac
said Hakan had told him: "Abdullah Catlı's arm was broken in the
accident. We killed him by bludgeoning him to death." JÄ°TEM is
believed to be the most important armed branch of Ergenekon.

Kıskac, who asked Hakan why Bucak had not been killed by JİTEM's men,
received the reply: "This man has 14,000 armed men; he has control over
a route from Antep to Silopi. We don't want to lose this route." Hakan
also said the accident had been arranged by JÄ°TEM and that Osman
Gurbuz, another Ergenekon suspect, had followed the Mercedes Catlı
and the others were in.

"They told me to work for them. They said they'd guarantee me
immunity. JÄ°TEM was a unit established to fight terrorism, but they
are dealing with every kind of business but terrorism, including
extortion and assassinations," Kıskac told the prosecution.

There are 248 dossiers containing evidence backing up the allegations
brought by the prosecution against the suspects in the Ergenekon
trial. The new documents reveal that retired Gen. Å~^ener Eruygur,
who was arrested but then released pending trial after suffering a
severe fall and sustaining cerebral injuries, ordered his assistants
to clean up any incriminating documents that might be found in
his office during police raids. The dossiers include transcripts
of a phone conversation between Eruygur and a woman named Nermin,
apparently Eruygur's secretary. In response to the woman's questions
regarding certain documents, Eruygur says: "Tear them apart; throw
them away." The dossiers reveal that Eruygur hid a large number of
confidential documents crucial to the organization's coup plots in
his office.

Allegations put forward by a newsweekly accusing former military
commanders of plotting a coup d'état have also made their way into
the second indictment of the Ergenekon trial. The allegations leveled
in the summer of 2007 by the Nokta newsweekly -- which claimed that in
2004 now-retired Adm. Ozden Ornek and the four force commanders at the
time had made plans to stage military coups to be named AyıÅ~_ıgı
(M oonlight) and Sarıkız (Blonde Girl) -- will be brought before
a court for the first time. The new dossiers include excerpts from
Ornek's diary as well as personal notes of Ergenekon suspect and
Cumhuriyet daily columnist Mustafa Balbay. Gen. Eruygur is accused of
being the mastermind behind Moonlight and Blonde Girl, as well as two
other coup plans the group called Yakamoz (Sea Sparkle) and Eldiven
(Glove).

The documents also reveal that the group gathered intelligence and
compiled lists of information about Justice and Development Party (AK
Party) politicians. In these lists, some AK Party members are tagged
with labels such as "Kurdish-Arab hybrid" and "Kurdish rebel Sheik
Said's grandson." Next to one of these figures, a statement reads,
"He is a leader in the mobilization of Kurdish population movements."

The organization also compiled detailed information on the politicians
closest to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, including Mucahid
Arslan, Huseyin Besli, Cuneyt Zapsu, Egemen BagıÅ~_ and Omer Celik. In
addition to biographies and detailed information on these politicians,
Eruygur's team also categorized AK Party politicians into two groups --
supporters of Erdogan and supporters of Abdullah Gul.

The new dossiers also include evidence that generals planned to ban
civilian political activity for at least two decades.

The second indictment accuses Eruygur of "establishing or leading
an armed terrorist organization, recording private information of
various individuals illegally, attempting to overthrow the government,
influencing the judiciary, inciting people to armed revolt and
attempting to destroy the Turkish Parliament." The prosecution demands
three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole
and an additional 142 to 246 years in jail without the possibility
of parole.

Other evidence included in the dossiers reveals that the generals'
coup-plotting group within the military, named the Republican Work
Group (CCG), actively supported Turkish Cypriot politician Rauf
DenktaÅ~_.

Dink murder suspect and Dalan The dossiers also include concrete
evidence showing that Professor Ercument Ovalı, who was arrested last
year on suspicion of possible links to the murder of Turkish-Armenian
journalist Hrant Dink in 2007, had frequent meetings with fugitive
Ergenekon suspect and former Ä°stanbul Mayor Bedrettin Dalan. This
information was obtained from a phone conversation between Ergenekon
suspect Kemal Aydın and Ovalı.

'I found Eruygur collapsed on the floor' Retired Gen. Eruygur
suffered a cerebral hemorrhage on Sept. 17, 2008, at Kandıra Prison,
where he was jailed at the time. The new documents also include
Ergenekon suspect and retired Gen. HurÅ~_it Tolon's testimony to the
prosecution about Eruygur's fall in prison, in which he sustained
a head injury. In his testimony, Tolon is quoted as saying: "In the
morning, I opened my eyes to a loud noise. I heard a noise between
a snore and a grumble. The grumbling wasn't too far away. I got up,
thinking I had fallen asleep in the wrong place. When I reached the
stairs, I saw that he was lying on his back right at the spot where
the stairs turned 90 degrees to the right, with his legs open like a
V. I could see that he was breathing. I ran down the stairs. I tried
to get him up, but he didn't come to. I started banging on the door
so a security officer would come. One came within a minute or two."