The Terror Journal

A Journal on Terrorism and Genocide

Turk Arrested Over Kurds’ Killings in ’90s

TurkeyA Turkish officer was arrested Wednesday in connection with suspected extrajudicial killings in the country’s predominantly Kurdish southeast in the 1990s.

A court in Diyarbakir, the largest city in the southeast, issued the arrest warrant for the officer, Col. Cemal Temizoz, pending a trial.

Colonel Temizoz served near the town of Cizre, about 40 miles from the Iraqi border in Turkey’s southeast, between 1993 and 1996, when hundreds of Kurdish civilians and activists were said to have been killed by security forces with links to the military.

In excavations around Cizre, officials have so far found pieces of clothing and at least 20 bones, which will be subject to DNA examination.

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The colonel was on active duty as the head of the paramilitary police force in central Kayseri province when he was arrested, the semiofficial Anatolian Agency reported.

Also Wednesday, an Ankara court accepted an additional indictment in the case against a cabal of high-ranking military officers and others charged with plotting a coup to overthrow the religiously oriented government in Turkey.

The court will decide whether the suspects, including top generals Hursit Tolon and Sener Eruygur, masterminded a military coup against the AKP government in an illegal network called Ergenekon.

The arrests of Mr. Tolon and Mr. Eruygur last year have caused a strong outcry in circles suspicious of the AKP’s religious agenda in Turkey, where the military has traditionally held the role of protecting the secular state structure.

Filing charges against members of the armed forces had been unimaginable before the Islamic-inspired AKP came to power with strong public support in 2002, and started challenging the established power groups within the elitist state structure.

The military has strongly denied any links with the Ergenekon network.

Source: NYT

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