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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Arif Dogan is a dead man - CIA will kill him if he talks

'JİTEM founder' demands day in Turkish court

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Monday, September 27, 2010
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Doğan claims to be the founder of JİTEM, whose existence is denied by the military.

Doğan claims to be the founder of JİTEM, whose existence is denied by the military.

A retired colonel who claims to have founded an alleged illegal intelligence and strike unit within the gendarmerie has demanded his day in court, hinting that he has explosive information about unsolved murders.

Speaking to dailies Habertürk and Taraf on Sunday and Monday, retired Col. Arif Doğan claimed to be the founder of JİTEM, which is believed to be the intelligence arm of the Gendarmerie. The military denies its existence. JİTEM is alleged to be a clandestine organization within the Gendarmerie that has been accused of being behind dozens of unsolved murders, especially in the 1990s. A case in Diyarbakır is investigating some of those unsolved crimes dating from 1993-95.

The comments made by the retired officer, a defendant in the ongoing Ergenekon case, contradicted each other at some points, with Doğan denying some of the remarks he made to Habertürk in the Taraf interview. In the interviews, Doğan also likened himself to a character from the controversial, but popular film "Kurtlar Vadisi: Gladyo" (Valley of Wolves: Gladio).

Speaking to Taraf, Doğan said his testimony in court would be as important as the testimony given by the character İskender Büyük in the film. "İskender tells the judges this in court: 'Respectable members of the court, you would not be able to stand it if I were to tell you some of the things I know. You would be in a very hard position. You would be targets,'" Doğan told the paper. "This is not a line from the 'Valley of Wolves' or 'Gladio'; it is Arif Doğan's. Do you understand?"

Doğan told Habertürk that he has diabetes and suffers from panic attacks and difficulty breathing, but that he intends to be heard in court before he dies. He told Taraf he would hold nothing back in his testimony.

"I am JİTEM. JİTEM is my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my everything," the retired colonel told Taraf. "I have fought in JİTEM for 21 years in mountains and valleys. There is one JİTEM and I am the person who founded it."

According to Doğan, JİTEM's sole purpose was to combat the outlawed Kurdistan Worker's Party, or PKK. He said members were paid by the kill.

"[JİTEM members] were paid 3,000 Turkish Liras per head. I was paid less than them," he said.

In the Habertürk interview, Doğan said JİTEM had 10,000 members consisting of Kurds he trusted. Speaking to Taraf, however, he said not all of these people were members of an armed militia while arguing that there are more than 1 million people in Turkey in the employment of several intelligence agencies.

Currently on trial without arrest due to health reasons in the Ergenekon case, Doğan claimed no involvement with that alleged shadowy group but was insistent that he was the person who founded JİTEM "on his own and under orders from no one" and then "froze it" in 1990. Mentioning a voice recording found on the Internet regarding the alleged assassination of Gen. Eşref Bitlis, Doğan said the voice is his but was put together from different conversations. "Bitlis was murdered in 1993. I quit JİTEM in 1990. JİTEM died that year, it was over. Did it resurrect itself in 1993?" he said.

Another Ergenekon suspect, retired Gen. Veli Küçük, is widely thought to be the illegal organization's founder, although he has not been charged as such in court.

Although he knew Küçük, they were not close, Doğan told Habertürk, describing the other man with obscenities. He denied the latter in the Taraf interview and said he respects the retired general.

Ergenekon is an alleged ultranationalist, shadowy gang known accused of planning to topple the government by staging a coup, initially by spreading chaos and mayhem.

JİTEM Colonel Arif Doğan wants to testify in court

Arif Doğan
Arif Doğan
A retired colonel who recently admitted to establishing JİTEM, a clandestine and illicit unit within the gendarmerie, has said he wishes to testify in court and reveal everything he knows.

Retired Col. Arif Doğan made the statements in an interview with the Taraf daily yesterday, following the release of an audio recording to a website in which Doğan seemingly admits to having ordered the murder of Gen. Eşref Bitlis – who died in a suspicious plane crash in 1993 – statements which Doğan claims were taken out of context.

"I told my nephew, who is a lawyer, to arrange it so that I can testify earlier. I am seeing that my life is getting shorter and shorter. Don't let this truth be buried with me. I will speak the truth in court. The media have created a different Arif Doğan," he tolda a reporter from the Taraf daily.

Doğan also quoted a character from the popular Turkish movie "Valley of the Wolves: Gladio" – a film about shady gangs within the state hierarchy, such as JİTEM, collectively known as the "deep state" – by saying, "If I talk, you all become targets."

The remark was interpreted as an open threat to other members of this illegal formation. Doğan came under the spotlight last week when an anonymous poster uploaded various voice recordings featuring his voice to a website, a fact Doğan acknowledged in an interview with the HaberTürk daily published on Tuesday, while claiming that the recording was a collation manufactured from a variety of disparate recordings. He also told the daily that he had been "begging" judges hearing the Ergenekon trial to let him testify.

Doğan doesn't believe he is going to live much longer, pointing to various ailments, including diabetes, heart disease and panic attack disorder from which he is suffering. In response to a question from the Taraf correspondent on whether he planned to keep some of the truth to himself, he said: "No, what would I keep to myself? I have nothing to hide. You will hear about that in the courtroom."

TL 3,000 per PKK militant killed

In the earlier interview with Habertürk, Doğan said he founded JİTEM alone, without asking any superiors and under no orders, but later froze the organization when he was relocated to another province in 1990. Doğan also discussed controversial remarks, particularly about those in the recording where he allegedly admits to have ordered the killing of Gen. Eşref Bitlis, who died in a suspicious plane crash in 1993. Doğan said the voice in the recordings was indeed his, but argued that the entire recording was a collage of different speeches. "Bitlis was killed in 1993. I left JİTEM in 1990. JİTEM stopped in that year, it finished. Did it come back again in 1993?"

Doğan's statement contradicts what most observers believe about JİTEM, whose existence has long been officially denied. JİTEM and its operatives are believed to be responsible for hundreds of unsolved murders and disappearances, particularly in the predominantly Kurdish southeastern and eastern provinces throughout the 1990s.

Doğan said JİTEM was mostly made up of Kurds whom he trusted. "They used to bring me very important and secret information. I was being provided mind-blowing intelligence. I always knew the attacks the PKK would stage beforehand. When JİTEM was active -- when we were continuing our fight against the PKK -- I had given the responsibility of the region to Kurdish clans all the way up to the Tigris River. Everybody had their own area of responsibility. I had 10,000 men. Their common enemy was the PKK." He said his men were rewarded for killing the terrorists. "They were paid TL 3,000 per head." He said JİTEM also staged over-the-border operations into the PKK's camps outside of Turkey.

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