A suspect in the murder of a technician working for a defense contractor confessed to authorities that he carried out a killing 11 years ago while following the orders of a general linked to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). According to the report in the Star daily, Mustafa Değirmenci told investigators that he was ordered by Sadık Köroğlu, a brigadier general arrested for his participation in last year's coup attempt, to kill Hafız Koca. Koca was working as a technician at a defense contractor producing components for fighter jets when he was killed, allegedly by three suspects trying to steal his car.
The suspected FETÖ ties in the case bring to mind a chain of suspicious deaths of employees of ASELSAN, a top defense contractor. Several media outlets had reported that the investigators in most of the cases involving the deaths of the eight people, which were ruled accidents or suicides, were linked to FETÖ and dismissed from their posts. Claims have been made that the terrorist group sought to thwart the critical defense projects the victims worked on.
Değirmenci told investigators that he worked as an informant for gendarmerie intelligence and was originally ordered to kill Hüseyin Başbilen and Halim Ünsem Ünal, two ASELSAN employees among the eight. When he refused, he was ordered to kill Koca. The suspect said two gendarmerie intelligence officers had given him photos and the addresses of two ASELSAN workers and identified them as "traitors who need to be removed." He said he refused but was then ordered to kill Koca. Değirmenci said intelligence officers threatened to kill his wife and child if he testified against them and had him "memorize" testimony in which he said he killed Koca in order to steal his car.
Sadık Köroğlu, jailed after last year's coup attempt, is accused of coordinating attacks for coup plotters in Ankara in return for being assigned commander of the country's gendarmerie training command if the coup bid succeeded, prosecutors say. Authorities say FETÖ, through its infiltrators in the military, carried out the coup bid that killed 249 people.