Turkey’s captured MİT officials says killings of 3 Kurdish women in Paris approved by President Erdoğan

Two top Turkish intelligence officials who were captured by the PKK have reportedly revealed that the killings of three Kurdish women in Paris planned by Turkish intelligence agency and was approved by the highest authority in Turkey.

On January 9, 2013, the outlawed PKK’s founding member Sakine Cansız, Kurdistan Information Bureau (KNK) Paris representative Fidan Doğan and Leyla Söylemez, who was a member of Kurdish youth movement, were assassinated in their Paris bureau. Suspect Ömer Güney died in prison on Dec. 17, 2016, just a few weeks before the trial.

The trial was planned to start on Jan. 23, 2017 in Paris High Criminal Court. However, the case was closed over Güney’s demise under suspicious circumstances. The probe into the murder of three Kurdish women in Paris has reopened later upon the appeal of lawyers.

According to a report by pro-Kurdish Fırat news agency (ANF) on Wednesday, the outlawed Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella organization that encompasses the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has released the confessions of two top Turkish intelligence officials who were captured by the PKK as they were allegedly preparing assassinations against Kurdish rebel leaders.

On the anniversary of Paris Killings on Tuesday, the KCK released the alleged confessions of captured MİT’s high ranking officials Erhan Pekçetin and Aydın Günel, about the killings. Both said that the massacre was planned by Turkish Intelligence Organisation (MİT) and was approved by the highest authority in Turkey.

One of the captured MİT official Erhan Pekcetin said that “There are audio recordings that were leaked to the internet. When I first head them I understood that the assassination was planned and executed by Uğur Kaan Ayık, our head of Ethnic Separatist Activities Department; Oğuz Yüret, a director of branch office; agent Ayhan Oran and other three personnel of us. Because I recognized them from the audio recordings.”

“They met with an informer named Ömer Güney in a hotel in Ankara. The audio recordings are taken from the hotel… (Since) This kind of assassinations are critical. It requires a decision from a high ranking officials and only a few cadres know about it,” said MİT official Pekçetin.

He continued to say that “The note of action should go to the desk of the director of the agency. I don’t think that he will decide himself, he will ask to the President (Recep Tayyip Erdoğan). Because these actions can create international problems. It was a time when the peace negotiations were taking place. The note of action was probably prepared by the director of branch office, not by Ayhan Oran. Then next it went to Uğur Kaan Ayık’s desk. His superior’s superior is Sabahattin Asal, who was deputy director of the agency, it possible went to him. Sabahattin Asal was attending the peace negotiations along with Muhammed Dervişoğlu. Then it possible went to the desk of Haluk Özcan the Deputy Director of General Affairs Department. And after that it ends on the desk of the director. This is how an action note is transferred within the agency. This action was not an action that could be done by a deputy director. It should go up to the director and get approval.”

According to the report of ANF, Aydın Günel has also recognized the signatures on the leaked document about Paris Killings: “O. Yüret is the signature of Oğuz Yüret. Oğuz Yüret is the head of the regional department of MİT in Van. He was the director of the operational department at that time. U.K. Ayık is Uğur Kaan Ayık. He is the head of Special Operations department right now. He was the head of Ethnic Separatist Activities department at that time. S. Asal is Sabahattin Asal. He is the deputy director of Strategic Intelligence department. He was a deputy in Ethnic Separatist Activities department in 2012. These are the signatures on the action note.”

The MİT officials also provided information about how the assassination was organized and how Ömer Güney’s, the gunman’s travels were arranged. “I heard that French intelligence service sent us a memo to us when Ömer Güney’s airline ticket to Paris was leaked at the assassination stage. I know that they (the French) demanded an explanation and there was no answer. The Security Directorate of France also sent a letter to Turkish counterparts. Turkish Security Directorate started an investigation and found the travel agency where the ticket was bought from its PNR number. This agency is in public housing in Yenimahalle neighborhood of Ankara. I have never seen it. We only phone them and they provide us the ticket. They give us PNR number. That ticket was also bought from there, from our agency. It’s not our organization’s but it’s office is in MİT’s public housing. The return ticket of Ömer Güney was bought from there”.

The officials has also spoken about the promotion of those who were behind the assassination and said that “Uğur Kaan Ayık was appointed to Doha as a representative then he was promoted to the head of special operations department. Oğuz Yüret is the head of the regional office in Van. Ayhan Oran was fired from the agency.”

Meanwhile, the ANF has stated that it has been subjected to attacks since the day the MİT administrators’ statements were published. Agencies, news portals, websites and social media accounts who share the related articles are also in the crosshairs of the Turkish government.

According to the statement, Ankara Criminal Court of Peace No.3 accepted the appeal submitted by Turkish authorities and issued a verdict to ban social media accounts from access in Turkey. The social media accounts that can’t be banned, the articles are being filtered Turkish authorities.

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