Turkish police discover bombs and guns in simultaneous searches

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Turkish police discover bombs and guns in simultaneous searches
Oluşturulma Tarihi: Ocak 09, 2009 10:29

Turkish police launched a series of searches in state forestry areas in Ankara on Friday as part of the Ergenekon probe and discovered of explosives as well as guns on a vacant property. (UPDATED)

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Media reports say the searches were conducted after sketches were found at the home of Ibrahim Sahin, an Ergenekon suspect.


Three shoulder missile launchers, TNT molds and plastic explosives were found in two separate bags in a search conducted at a vacant property outside the capital early on Friday. The weapons discovered on the vacant property were wrapped in newspapers dated from July 2004, broadcaster NTV said.


Later on Friday police used digging equipment in simultaneous searches conducted at a recreational farm and in the Sogutozu, Saklıbahce, Mamak and Bala districts of Ankara, TV channels said.

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Sahin is among the 37 people detained in the latest wave of the Ergenekon operation on Wednesday.


Sahin, the former head of the Turkish Special Forces - a unit formed in fight against terror- was tried in Turkey's infamous Susurluk case that became one of the most crucial scandals in the country's political history.


In the late 1990s the Susurluk case, aimed at unveiling a shadowy illegal organization, known as "deep-state", began after a traffic accident involving a parliamentarian, a police official and a fugitive. The case uncovered the mysterious relationship between the country's mafia, police and political figures.



Police on Friday found five guns in the safe of Istanbul's former mayor, Bedrettin Dalan, CNNTurk said.


The police conducted a raid on the Istanbul Educational and Cultural Foundation (ISTEK), owned by Dalan. ISTEK owns a university and numerous private high schools. Searches were conducted at the foundation's headquarters and at Yeditepe University in Istanbul.


Police also launched searches in the Kumlu district of the southern province of Hatay, TV channels reported on Friday.



On Nov. 3, 1996, a car rear-ended a truck in Susurluk town, which later became the namesake of the infamous case. Mehmet Ozbay, Police Chief Huseyin Kocadag and model Gonca Us died in the accident, while Sedat Edip Bucak, deputy from the center-right True Path Party (DYP), was injured.


It was later noted that Ozbay was an alias used by fugitive nationalist militant Abdullah Catli, the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant for the deaths of seven left-wing students in the 1970s; a time when intense clashes were ongoing between leftists and rightists, which brought the country on the edge of a civil war.


The media interpreted the accident as proof that there were illicit links between politicians, police and mafia.


Prosecutors maintained that a group of individuals, believing it was impossible to deal with people aiding terrorist organizations through legal means, had decided to form a gang. The prosecutors also demanded the suspension of the immunity of Bucak and Mehmet Agar, who resigned as interior minister after the crash. Most of the trials ended with verdicts of not guilty.


The Susurluk scandal, as the matter is referred to these days, still creates concern. Agar was re-elected to parliament in 2002 as an independent but his bid to become the DYP leader in the 2007 elections ended with defeat, opening way for his trial.


The so-called "Susurluk gang" is blamed for many unsolved murders of mafia leaders, businessmen with close ties to the terror organization PKK, and other prominent figures during the 1990s.


In 2008, Ayhan Carkin, a police officer who was tried in the Susurluk case and who had worked with Sahin, told in a television program that the gang had killed 4,000 people to protect the interests of the state.





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