Lawyer for defendants in MİT arms transportation case gets 7.5 years in prison

Alp Değer Tanrıverdi

The lawyer who represented defendants in a case that exposed Turkish intelligence agency trucks carrying arms to Syria in 2014 was handed down a sentence of seven years, six months on Friday.

Alp Değer Tanrıverdi was the lawyer for prosecutors who were tried for ordering a search of National Intelligence Organization (MIT) trucks illegally carrying arms to Syria in January 2014.

Former prosecutors Süleyman Bağrıyanık, Özcan Şişman, Aziz Takçı and Ahmet Karaca were arrested due their role in the search of the trucks after government figures, including now-President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, accused them of “treason and espionage.”

According to the Turkish press, the lawyer for the four fired and jailed prosecutors was also arrested on charges of membership in an “armed terrorist organization,” in reference to the faith-based civic Gülen movement.

In January 2014 a number of trucks that were found to belong to MİT were stopped by gendarmes in two separate incidents in the southern provinces of Hatay and Adana after prosecutors received tipoffs that they were carrying arms to Syria.

Although the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government claimed the trucks were transporting humanitarian aid to the Turkmen community in Syria, opposition voices questioned why, if the operation was within the law, the government intervened to prevent the trucks from being searched.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş, had said in a televised interview in November 2015 that the MİT trucks were not intended for Turkmens. “I swear to God those arms were not going to the Turkmens,” Türkeş said at the time, when he was still a deputy for the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), criticizing then-Prime Minister Erdoğan for claiming that the trucks were for Turkmens in Syria. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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