Turkey’s Minister of Interior Sebahattin Ozturk said on Tuesday that “negligence could be the matter" in response to claims related to the arrest of a man suspected of bombing a rally held by the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on June 5 in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakir two days before the June 7 general elections.
The Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet previously claimed that the suspect, Orhan Gonder, was interrogated by police at a hotel on June 3 over his military service record and then released, even though he was listed as a “missing terrorism crimes suspect” on police records.
The Diyarbakir police were accused of “acting negligently” by Hurriyet.
Speaking to Hurriyet in an interview, Ozturk said, “If the suspect was caught and interrogated due to his military service record by the police at the hotel, but it was not realised that he had a record of being a ‘terrorism suspect,’ then negligence could be the issue.”
Underlying his point, Ozturk said “The suspect’s record cannot be seen in the National Judicial Informatics System [UYAP] in which similar records are kept and seen by the police. That means he was not recorded. This might be intentional or not, but it is clear that ‘negligence’ is the matter.”
An investigation was launched on June 10 regarding the claims, which looked into the reasons why the suspect was not registered on the network.
Explaining that the inspectors are still investigating the extent of the “negligence,” Ozturk said they are considering whether what happened was due to technical problems or officials’ negligence.
Ozturk stated that it is hoped the investigation will be completed by the end of July.
According to the statement published by the General Directorate of Security Affairs of the Diyarbakir police department this week, the official statement taken from Gonder at the hotel was related to his military service, not “terrorism crimes.”
The suspect was arrested soon after the bombing of the Diyarbakir HDP rally.
Gonder is alleged to have links with ISIS which is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey.
Ozturk stated that it is hoped the investigation will end by the end of July.
Four people died and 414 people were injured in the bombing of the HDP rally on June 5.