Prosecutor investigating weapons transfer from Turkey to Syria facing 15 years in jail

Turkish soldiers point their weapons at MIT officials as the lorries allegedly carrying weapons to jihadist groups in Syria is stopped in Adana, near the Syria border.

Ankara’s Chief Public Prosecutor has prepared an indictment against Aziz Takci, the Adana Prosecutor who in 2014 requested the police to conduct a search on lorries that were allegedly transporting weapons to Islamist and jihadist groups in Syria from Turkey on the supervision of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MIT).

Takci, who risks between 7,5 to 15 years jail sentence for alleged “membership to a terrorist organisation”, was removed from his post on 24 January 2014 while the 34 gendarmerie soldiers who were involved in searching the lorries were arrested in April 2015 on suspicion of “illegal bugging, espionage, invasion of privacy, the perversion of justice on personal beliefs, forgery of official documents, setting up, leading and being part of a terrorist organisation, attempting to obstruct and to bring down the Turkish government”.

“The MIT lorry scandal,” as it is known to the public, broke out on 1 January 2014.

The government, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, initially claimed that the cargo in the lorries was a ‘national secret’ but later alleged that the lorries were supplying food and medical aid to the Turkmen population in Syria. Turkmen leaders later rejected this claim.

Erdogan has accused Aziz Takci, who has been imprisoned since 2015 of being affiliated to the Fetullah Gulen movement, which Ankara alleges was behind last year’s coup attempt.

Turkish journalist Can Dundar, now exiled in Germany, was arrested in November 2015 together with his colleague Erdem Gul and accused of spying and “divulging state secrets”, after his newspaper published footage of the MIT supervised lorries allegedly carrying weapons to Syria, possibly to the Islamic State or Al-Qaeda, commentators have said.