A prominent Turkish anchorman of the critical news network CNNTurk and columnist for critical daily newspaper Hurriyet, Ahmet Hakan had been subjected to a brutal attack by four men recently. The assailants had then quickly been caught and taken to Directorate of Combat with Organized Crime where the investigation was to be carried out and their statements to be taken separately. The four men had given similar statements as confession that they had been offered 100.000 TL (~$35.000), and the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and the “Chief” is also involved in the situation.
Raids against Media
The whistleblower from President Erdoğan’s circle “Fuat Avni” had spoken of raids against the critical news networks in the month of August, and several newspaper headquarters had been raided by police, and on September 5th, Hurriyet Daily’s HQ building was raided by an angry mob which seemed to have been coordinated and organized by an MP of the governing AK Party. The attack against Ahmet Hakan came in the aftermath of this raid, and several other Doğan Media journalists have been threatened openly even during live broadcast through social media messages.
Massive Payment Promised in Return for Attack against Journalist
One of the assailants, K.E. has stated that they were offered 100.000 TL in order to carry out the attack; and the cross-examination of the statements have revealed the planned assault as to how the assailants carried out close examination and surveillance prior to the attack and how they followed the journalist back home.
The assailants have now been released except for one who is now under arrest; and all of them have changed their statements after they have been taken to the court house of Istanbul and met the prosecutor.
One of the assailants’ statement reveals that they have been taken to a disclosed location and someone who introduced himself as the district chairperson told them that there is a problem with the journalist Ahmet Hakan and he needs to be beaten, the 100.000 TL promised would be arranged through the Ottoman Organization district directorate by someone named Nezir.
The assailants claim that they were under drug influence in time of the negotiation and that’s why they had accepted the offer; and they also stated that they were promised immunity and no-investigation as the request has come from the state but would only realize the gravity of the issue once taken to Directorate of Combat with Organized Crime.
K.E. also stated that they have been deceived and were subjected to a conspiracy and would file legal complaint about a retired special-ops officer called Y.K.G. who has given them the orders and given false legal information.
New-Deep State Involvement?
According to the statements from the assailants, Y.K.G. who owns a cafe in Fatih district of Istanbul invited them and gave the orders there. He told them that Ahmet Hakan says “dead” rather than “martyr” for soldiers, and he supports HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party) and provokes people. He added “the secret service is in this, whole security department is in this, the Chief is in this. In the next two days you are to finish this and the package will arrive.”
The assailants tell the night of the event as follows, “on the night of 30th, YKG was angry as we could not carry out the orders, then he told us that Ahmet Hakan’s program ends at 8:30pm. We went to the back-exit and followed his car until his street. When his car stopped, we crushed slowly and he came out of the car after his bodyguard and driver. The bodyguard was warded off by one of us and when we finished we went back to Y.K.G.”
One of the assailants U.A. tells in his statement that they “met with someone named N.Ö. at Y.K.G.’s cafe and he told them that the Ottoman Organization (pro-AK Party far right youth assembly) would be much better than the Nationalist Movement Party (Far Right political party in the parliament with the abbreviation MHP). Upon following Ahmet Hakan with a car, the aim was to start a fight after a minor traffic accident. Once outside of the car, he made a run for his house, fell down and then upon second attempt to run he was caught and pushed to fall again.”
“After getting caught, in detention room we decided to tell them that we got into a fight after a traffic accident, then we were transferred to Organized Crime. We were told that he is a traitor and we were doing this for the state, in the name of security.”
According to cross-examined statements, Ahmet Hakan was requested to be beaten in such a way that he would be unable to hold a pen and write again; and the Y.K.G. would talk of him as the traitor who provokes for violence. And the assailants were promised that they would receive a hero’s welcome by the security forces, justice, people and everyone as well as the promised sum of money.
Ahmet Hakan’s lawyer Aslı Kazan Gilmore commented on the change of statements in the courthouse and said “the assailants have given consistent statements regarding who requested them to do what and how much was promised, and it all is in coherence with what seems to have happened; however the investigation at the courthouse seems to have changed a few things alongside the statements given. Now the assailants deny their statements; the aim is to hide those who are behind this attack.”