24 Dec 2015

Wiretapping reveals communication between Turkish officers and Islamic State

Some Turkish officers on the Syrian border have been revealed to have communicated with terrorists of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria, a daily reported on Tuesday.
“It emerged that the telephone communications some officers made with ISIL militants were wiretapped,” the Cumhuriyet daily said, describing the officers' contact with ISIL members as scandalous.
The wiretapping reportedly took place last year as part of an investigation conducted by the Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office.
The investigation file was handed over on March 15 this year to the military prosecutor's office of the Gaziantep 5th Armored Brigade Command as the prosecutor's office deemed the issue outside of its jurisdiction, according to the report.
An investigation was launched by public prosecutor Derda Gökmen into the 27 suspects, some of whom are in Syria, the report said.
According to the daily's report, the big scandal came out into the open after the investigation was opened by the Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office upon the reports of relatives of six Turkish citizens stating that they were missing and believing them to have joined the ranks of ISIL.
The Turkish government has long been accused by opposition parties of turning a blind eye to the activities of ISIL in Turkey and for letting ISIL terrorists freely pass through Turkey's border with Syria.
The prosecutor's office then reportedly took permission to wiretap the phones of 19 people who were believed to have put the six missing people in touch with the terrorist organization, during which time the activities of ISIL came under close scrutiny in Ankara.
The files of the six missing people and of the 19 people believed to be involved were combined into one single file in the investigation.
The investigation reportedly revealed that those who wanted to join ISIL's ranks received ideological training by meeting in the building of an association or foundation, or at a bookstore.
According to the report, some suspects were seen to have acted as agents for those who wanted to join ISIL, to have helped them by formulating an itinerary to pass the border to Syria, by supplying a vehicle or by contacting ISIL.
“Those [who joined ISIL] from Ankara often used Elbeyli district [of Kilis] as a throughway by traveling via Gaziantep and Kilis to the village of Able, which is subordinated to Syria's Al-Bab district,” the report said.
A note is written in one of the transcripts for the wiretappings that states the person designated in the transcript as “X2” is considered to be a member of the military, Cumhuriyet reported.
Below are samples from the wiretapped conversations:
--Yes, brother.
X2: We are on the mined land where I delivered the vehicle. We have put our lights on. [We have the] material on us; come here with your men from that side…
-- OK. We are coming brother.
X2: Come quickly.
-- Brother, do you mean the place where you/I gave first lieutenant Burak the car?
X2: Yes, a little further from the place where you delivered [the car]… Our two cars are on the Turkish side.
-- OK, brother.
Yet another script in the investigation's file outlines a conversation between Mustafa Demir, who is being tried for having a high-level position in ISIL, and a person referred to as X2, who is believed to be a member of the Turkish military forces.
-- Yes?
-- Brother … they've called the non-commissioned officer.
-- OK, brother, OK.
-- OK...
-- Until later. Call me if anything happens…
-- OK.
Yet another transcript of a wiretapped conversation in the report is indicated to have taken place at 8:06 p.m. on Nov. 25, 2014 between a person called Ali and a high-level member of the military.
According to the transcript, the person is telling Ali that their colleagues are being detected by the thermal camera on the border. Saying that he learned this from the locals, the speaker is also saying to Ali that the person in charge of the thermal camera is receiving money from them to let them pass through the border.

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