Turkish court releases top army officer in MIT trucks case

Turkish court decides to release Ankara Gendarmerie Regional Commander General Ibrahim Aydin, previously arrested in MIT trucks investigation

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Gendarmerie units take security measures before a hearing concerning MIT trucks case begins in Ankara on Oct. 1, 2015

A Turkish court has decided to release Ankara Gendarmerie Regional Commander General Ibrahim Aydin who was previously arrested within the scope of an investigation over stopping National Intelligence Agency (MIT) trucks in southern Turkey.

Three senior army officers including Aydin and another general along with a retired colonel were arrested on Nov. 30 by court order in Istanbul over charges of espionage and leading a terrorist group.

In January 2014, several MIT trucks were stopped by local gendarmerie in southern Adana and Hatay provinces, on the grounds that they were loaded with ammunition and headed to groups in Syria, despite a national security law forbidding such a search.

The Turkish Interior Ministry said the trucks, which were accused of carrying ammunition into northern Syria, were conveying humanitarian aid to the Turkmen community in the war-torn country.

Four prosecutors were charged with issuing search warrants on the trucks and a former gendarmerie commander was arrested on May 7.

In addition, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet faces an investigation after publishing several images and video footage on May 29, showing guns and ammunition that were allegedly carried by the MIT trucks.

On Nov. 26, the editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet newspaper, Can Dundar, and its Ankara bureau chief, Erdem Gul, were arrested on charges of political and military espionage, membership of a terrorist organisation, and revealing confidential information.

The investigation concerning the MIT trucks has been launched as a part of the wider “parallel state” probe which detained dozens of police officers and the reassignment of hundreds of other officers across Turkey.

The Gulen Movement, which is led by Fethullah Gulen - a US based preacher of Turkish origin- is accused by the Turkish government of establishing and leading a “parallel state,” composed of a network of followers who have allegedly infiltrated the judiciary, police force, and other state agencies to control these institutions.

TRTWorld and agencies