Perpetrators of journalist Adalı’s murder seem obvious, former police chief claims

Former police chief Hanefi Avcı has claimed that the perpetrators of the murder of Turkish Cypriot journalist Kutlu Adalı seem obvious, speaking to the İstanbul-based private TV channel KRT.

Avcı told KRT that former Interior Minister Mehmet Ağar and former Turkish military officer and National Intelligence Organization (MİT) agent Korkut Eken should be investigated for their role in the killing of Adalı.

Adalı, who worked for the left-wing Yeni Düzen newspaper in Nicosia, was shot dead in front of his home in 1996. He had written critically about the northern Cypriot government’s immigration policies enabling Turkish nationals to live and work in Cyprus. A little-known group called the Turkish Revenge Brigade claimed responsibility for his assassination, but his killers have never been identified.

Once a staunch supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Sedat Peker, the head of one of Turkey’s most powerful mafia groups, has since early May been setting the country’s political agenda through videos he posts on YouTube. Having fled to Dubai, the mafia boss has been making shocking revelations about state-mafia relations, drug trafficking and murders implicating state officials.

In a video posted on May 23, Peker said he tasked his brother Atilla Peker with killing Adalı in 1996 upon a request from then-Interior Minister Ağar but that his brother was unable to carry out the murder, although Adalı was shot dead shortly afterward in July 1996.

He said Eken told them later that “another team” had killed the journalist.

Following Sedat Peker’s claims, Atilla Peker was detained by the organized crime police in the Aegean province of Muğla. According to a leaked copy of Atilla Peker’s testimony to a prosecutor, he confirmed his brother’s allegations about the Adalı murder and admitted to having been on a mission to northern Cyprus along with Eken to kill the journalist on Ağar’s orders.

The İstanbul Anadolu chief public prosecutor launched an investigation after Atilla Peker testified about the Adalı murder.

According to a report by Oda TV, Galip Mendi, a retired general and a former gendarmerie commander, confirmed Atilla Peker’s claims that he met with them in northern Cyprus and provided Eken with a white Renault Toros station wagon — which became the symbol of unsolved murders and kidnappings for many Kurds in the 1980s and 1990s.

Adalı’s wife, İlkay Adalı, appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) after the investigation in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) failed to solve the case. On March 31, 2005 the rights court ruled that Ankara had not carried out an extensive and credible investigation into the murder and ordered it to pay 96,000 euros in damages.

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