Lawyers of Emre Karaali, the Church of İzmit Pastor, called for the trying of Gendarme Lieutenant Levent Birsin stationed in Diyarbakır and Police Captain Hasan Erdoğan stationed at Silvan Police Directorate. The court ruled for the filing of criminal complaints against the two officials.
In an operation held on 16 January 2013, the Kocaeli Police Directorate detained 14 persons alleged to be in preparation to carry out an assassination against Emre Karaali, the Pastor of the İzmit Protestant Church. Lawsuits were brought against seven of the detained. The telephone conversations of the suspects have revealed that they were in contact with a Gendarme official and a Police captain. The court issued indictments against the two public officials.
The home address and a plan of the route Emre Karaali, the Pastor of the İzmit Protestant Church used when he commuted from his home to the church, and various profiling documents on people who attended the church were discovered in searches carried out at the homes of the detained suspects following the police operation. Lists of the suspects’ code names and numbers were also discovered. The İzmit Church had been the target of numerous attacks with stones and Molotov cocktails before the operation. An event to which the Governor and Provincial Security Director were invited was to be held at the church on the evening the operation was carried out.
Following the operation, the Kocaeli Public Prosecution Office arranged a bill of indictment on charges of ‘forming an organization to pursue criminal activity, possession of firearms, carrying out threats using the names of criminal organizations’ and sent it to the Kocaeli 2. High Criminal Court. The court issued a decision of lack of jurisdiction regarding the indictment, and forwarded the file to the Istanbul Specially Authorized 22. High Criminal Court. The Istanbul Court also issued a decision of lack of jurisdiction and forwarded the file to the Supreme Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court of Appeals ruled for the file to remain at the Kocaeli 2. High Criminal Court. Despite grave accusations against them, there are no remanded suspects in the case.
I supply information to MİT
The suspects, whose testimony was taken by the court, stated that Ferhat Çakar was ‘intelligence personnel’ and that they went to the İzmit Protestant Church upon his directives, and presented the information they gathered to him as a report concealed in an envelope. The suspects added that they also went to the BDP Provincial Headquarters in İzmit and Diyarbakır and prepared reports with information they gathered.
Ufuk Süer, suspect, said the following in his defence to the court, “Ferhat is a friend from the neighbourhood. We used to play for the same football club. He told me he worked as an intelligence officer for the TSK (Turkish Armed Forces) National Security Unit, and showed me an identity card I could not see clearly. They wanted me to work with the group called Jehovah’s Witnesses. They brought me books and magazines from Istanbul. When I didn’t believe him and wanted to severe my relationship, a person I do not know called me by telephone and threatened me. We went to the Protestant Church upon Ferhat’s request. We used to give the information we gathered to Ferhat. We went sightseeing to Diyarbakır with Ferhat. He entered a building that he said belonged to MİT (National Intelligence Organization). There was no sign on the building, and soldiers were holding guard at its entrance. He went to the MİT building in Kocaeli, too, to begin with. Everyone in Kocaeli knows that building belongs to MİT.”
The other suspects, too, stated in court that Ferhat Çakar was an intelligence officer, and that went to the Protestant Church upon his request, gathered information and prepared reports.
Contact between lieutenant and police captain
Minutes of telephone conversations between the suspects have also emerged. It has been revealed that Erol Doğan, a suspect whose testimony was taken within the scope of the file, sent on 25 August 2012 a text message of unclear content to Levent Birsin, a lieutenant stationed at the Diyarbakır Gendarme General Command, which read, “A group of 30 persons observed in the vicinity of Malagir Dağcılar Taşköprü”. The telephone conversations between the suspects include the names of Gendarme Lieutenant Levent Birsin and Police Captain Hasan Erdoğan stationed at Diyarbakır Silvan Police Directorate. The messages and conversations include the following content: “Information required for Recep Kıvanç were submitted 3 months ago to Lieutenant Levent when he was duty officer at the regiment and on 02 August 2012 to Captain Hasan Erdoğan at Silvan Police Directorate, they both made notes”, “Just now Intelligence Officers from Diyarbakır Provincial Gendarme came by, there is an issue that’s why I called”, “There’s Lieutenant Levent, brother, at our Intelligence department”, “Submitted to Gendarme Lieutenant Levent, too, for your information”.
Court issues indictment
Lawyers of Emre Karaali, the Church of İzmit Pastor, at the last hearing held on October 21, called for the trying of Gendarme Lieutenant Levent Birsin stationed in Diyarbakır and Police Captain Hasan Erdoğan stationed at Silvan Police Directorate, whose names are mentioned in the telephone conversation recordings. Upon the request of the lawyers, the court ruled for the filing of criminal complaints against the two officials.