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13.01.2013 18:40 News >> 'Retired Generals Looted Weapons From Buried Arms Sites'

'Retired Generals Looted Weapons From Buried Arms Sites'

Military weapons and ammunition buried underground at 100 different locations by the military's Special Ops Unit have been dug up by retired generals who knew of the sites, according to a National Intelligence Organization (MİT) report.

Military weapons and ammunition buried underground at 100 different locations by the military's Special Ops Unit have been dug up by retired generals who knew of the sites, according to a National Intelligence Organization (MİT) report.

The report on the Special Operations Unit was sent to the Coups and Memorandums Investigation Commission of Parliament by MİT. The content of the report was made public on Sunday in a report by the Taraf daily.

It is not clear why the military buried the weapons, but underground ammunition caches have been found during the investigation regarding Ergenekon, a clandestine network that allegedly plotted to overthrow the government. Weapons found during the investigation, most notably the ones unearthed in Poyrazköy, a village near İstanbul, were most likely to be used to carry out assassinations planned by the Ergenekon cabal, according to prosecutors' findings, but whether this applies to all the sites mentioned in the MİT report is not clear.

MİT's report said: "Officers retired from Special Ops later go and dig out these weapons because they know the locations where ammunition is buried." MİT says the looted weapons constitute a serious problem and it has gotten "out of control." It also says so far a large number of hand grenades, rifles, bullets and pistols have been unearthed at different sites in the provinces of Mersin, Konya, Afyonkarahisar, İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Diyarbakır and Gaziantep.

The report also includes notes allegedly kept by former Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ, who is currently a suspect in an ongoing coup-related investigation. The notes, according to Taraf's report, include statements describing Başbuğ's views on the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and his stance should a military coup take place. The MİT report also suggests that many Special Ops officers developed links with shady networks after 2007. It also mentions a former minister as the person in charge of Psychological Operations (PSYOP).

The report also made it clear that the stolen weapons case was brought to light by a whistleblower from inside the Special Ops Unit. The tipster wrote letters addressed to Emre Taner, the former head of MİT.

There was no information on what course of action MİT took regarding the intelligence it received or whether it has contacted any prosecutors.

Six letters -- 287 pages in total -- were sent to MİT between 2007 and 2008. These are the letters forwarded to the parliamentary Coup and Memorandum Investigation Commission for examination. The letters contain information on illegal activities of some groups set up within the General Staff such as the Special Warfare Department (ÖHD), the Tactical Mobilization Group (STK), the Special Forces Command (ÖKK), and the Wartime Search and Rescue Unit (MAK), which is affiliated with the latter.

The documents contain information about the activities of the Special Forces Command, which is believed to have prepared an action plan consisting of 26 articles to undermine the democratically elected government.

The letters reveal attempts at causing conflict between Christians and Turks in some parts of Turkey. In Hatay, the STK worked to create conflict between Turkey's Turkish, Armenian and Aramean (Syriac) communities, according to the letter, in an attempt to cause instability in the country so that the military could stage a coup d'état against the government. (Cihan/Today's Zaman)



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