A Turkish colonel, who worked for the country’s Special Forces Command intelligence division (OKK), testified in a court proceeding that the former head of the OKK issued an assassination order against one of the organizers of the 2016 coup because he reportedly had knowledge of illicit Qatari funding of jihadi groups in the Syrian civil war, according to a Friday report on the website of Nordic Monitor.“[Brigadier General Semih Terzi] knew how much of the funding delivered [to Turkey] by Qatar for the purpose of purchasing weapons and ammunition for the opposition was actually used for that and how much of it was used by public officials, and how much was embezzled,” Col. Firat Alakus said.
Terzi was reported in 2016 to have been one of the organizers behind the failed coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Nordic Monitor added that Alakus said the Qatari case was not the only example of how financial graft unfolded after monetary transfers to Turkey for use in the Syrian civial war.According to the Sweden-based news outlet, Alakus testified at the Ankara 17th High Criminal Court on March 20, 2019.“Now, Semih Terzi was targeted because of his intimate knowledge of affairs relating to Syria, Your Honor. What is this information? If you want, I can expand on it, some of which is critical,” Alakus said at the court hearing.Terzi “was aware of which public officials were assisting in arms smuggling to Syria and for what purpose,” noted Alakus.“[Terzi’s murder] had to do with a trap devised by Zekai Aksakallı, who did not want such facts to come out into the open,” he continued.
Lt.-Gen. Zekai Aksakalli oversaw the OKK at the time of Terzi’s assassination and has now become a Syrian civil “war profiteer,” according to the Nordic Monitor.Alakus said “[Terzi] was aware of who in the government was involved in an oil-smuggling operation from Syria, how the profits were shared and what activities they were involved in.”The colonel said Terzi was also aware of the Turkish government providing medical care in Turkey to armed radical and jihadist groups disguised as moderate Free Syrian Army troops. Allegations of Turkish officials securing bribes in exchange for providing services to the jihadis were raised in the court testimony.The Nordic Monitor obtained the hearing transcript. The Jerusalem Postcould not independently verify the transcript. Media outlets in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain reported on Alakus’s testimony based on the Nordic Monitor article. One Turkey expert told the Post that he believes the legal documents published on the website of the Nordic Monitor are authentic.The Nordic Monitor is affiliated with Erdogan’s adversary Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish Islamic scholar and leader of the Gülen movement. The Nordic Monitor describes its organization as “a news portal that reports about developments on extremism, terrorism, crime, foreign policy, security and military matters.”The Post reported Wednesday on the role of Qatar’s ambassador to Belgium and NATO, Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Sulaiman al-Khulaifi, in allegedly seeking to cover up a plan to finance the Lebanese terrorist movement Hezbollah.