Daily: Turkish border officers cooperate with ISIL – The front page of Cumhuriyet daily published on Monday.
February 23 – TODAY’S ZAMAN | ANKARA – Wiretapped telephone calls between a leading figure from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and several members of the Turkish military reveal cooperation between ISIL and the Turkish military in letting smugglers cross the Turkey-Syriaborder, a report by a Turkish daily has alleged.
Documents prepared by a prosecutor’s office contain a large number of transcripts of “friendly” telephone communications between military officers and Mustafa Demir, the ISIL member in charge of Turkey’s Syria border, the Cumhuriyet daily said on Monday.
The prosecutor’s documents reportedly say Turkish military officers also met with Demir on the border. The ISIL leader is indicated in the documents as the person behind the transportation of bombs from Syria to Turkey.
“The transcripts and the documents in the investigation revealed that Demir received money — purportedly for zakat [alms] — from smugglers at the border and cooperated with the officers as far as [border] crossings are concerned,” the report stated.
The Turkish government has long been accused by the opposition of turning a blind eye to ISIL’s activities in Turkey as well as of having helped ISIL in fighting against the Syrian government.
According to the report, the documents in question are from a file in an ongoing court case on ISIL at the Ankara 3rd High Criminal Court.
The issues alleged in the case came to light because of an investigation launched following information given by six Turkish citizens whose relatives joined ISIL, the report said.
Upon the application by the relatives, monitoring of the communications of 19 people started, and a prosecutor named Derda Gökmen reportedly filed a claim against 27 suspects.
Demir, who is currently in Syria, and İlhami Balı, another leading ISIL figure, are among the suspects, the daily said.
Noting Balı is the person who gave the order for Turkey’s deadliest ever suicide bomb attack in Ankara in October of last year, the report said Demir had also previously come to public attention due to his close links to Balı.
According to the report, the prosecutor, on the grounds that the transcripts also indicated a crime other than the one he was pursuing, launched yet another investigation on the link between ISIL terrorists and the Turkish military.
The prosecutor then reportedly, due to legal incompetence, referred the new investigation file to the prosecutor’s office of the Gaziantep 5th Armored Brigade Command.
The report also said the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office had previously claimed, after some reports appeared in media outlets such as Cumhuriyet, that the phone calls are between military officers and smugglers, not ISIL members.
Below are transcripts of some phone calls Demir reportedly had with members of the Turkish military based on the investigation file.
Date: Nov. 25, 2014; 8:26 p.m.
A.A.: Was that you, the ones with a torch?
Mustafa: Well, with a little torch, where are you big brother? At the place where I told you to be?
A.A.: Yeah. We also saw you, your men…
Mustafa: Is it possible for you to arrange that I talk with the commander here, regarding the business here? What if we could establish a contact here as we helped you…
A.A.: Okay. If there are any needs [as far as your request is concerned], [tell them] to inform me here.
Mustafa: If it will be enough to contact you [to settle the issue], no problem.
A.A.: I’ll pass this now. I have two military posts [at the border] there. If worse comes to worst, I’ll tell that to the commander of the station and have him take a look…
Time: 7:12 p.m.
Communication made by the telephone registered in the name of A.B.
A.B.: We’re where you gave [him] the vehicle, we are in the mine [field]. We’ve put on a light. We have stuff; come here from that side, the men are here…
Mustafa: Okay, big brother, [I’m] coming.
A.B.: Come urgently; I’m in the mine [field] with a torch. Come running.
Mustafa: Well, big brother, is it the place where I gave First Lieutenant Burak a car?
A.B.: Yeah, just a little further down from that place. Our two vehicles are on the Turkish side [of the border].
A.B.: We are also in the mine.
Mustafa: I’ll right be there, big brother.