Turkish Security Officials Turns Himself In

ANKARA (Reuter)A former top Turkish security official gave himself up on Tuesday to a state security court that sought his arrest on charges of forming a criminal gang and obstructing justice–an interior ministry official said.

Ibrahim Sahin–a former deputy head of the security forces’ special operations division–is one of 10 people facing between five and nine years in prison in a case related to a security scandal which emerged last year.

"He surrendered this morning," the interior ministry official said.

Sahin’s arrest was sought late in January after newspapers reported links between him and a wanted gangster who died in a car crash with a leading police official last November.

The crash unleashed a wave of allegations about links between the state and underworld gangs and prompted government and parliament investigations.

A government report has called for investigation of an interior minister who resigned in the wake of the scandal–a former Istanbul security chief and a coalition parliamentarian–Sedat Bucak–who was injured in the crash. Bucak’s driver is one of the defendants in the current Istanbul trial.

The suspension of Sahin and three special forces policemen last December was also related to an investigation into the murder of the leading casino entrepreneur Omer Lutfi Topal.

Two district mayors were detained in the southeast province of Hakkari on Tuesday over suspected links to anti-guerrilla forces charged with carrying out a string of serious crimes.

State-run Anatolian news agency said the mayors were taken to the city of Diyarbekir for questioning over a kidnapping by a gang of special force policemen and state-paid militia members in Hakkari last September.

At the time–masked and armed members of the gang posed as Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) members to kidnap a man and demand a ransom of 200,000 German marks ($117,270). Gendarmerie police later rescued the victim. Anatolian said the gang’s trial is expected to begin in the next few days.

The PKK has for 12 years fought the security forces for self-rule in the southeast.


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