216 officers fugitives from justice, says deputy PM

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 08.08.2016 22:53

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said Monday that 186 members of the Armed Forces and 30 members of the gendarmerie are fugitives from justice. He said nine of the suspects missing were generals. Commenting on reports that the officers had fled to Northern Iraq, he said the government at present had no corroborating information. An official from the Office of the Chief of Staff, Brig. Gen. Ertuğrulgazi Özkürkçü, said reports claiming that 57 officers, including three generals, had fled to PKK headquarters in Northern Iraq's Qandil Mountains does not reflect the truth.

The Sözcü daily claimed that sixty soldiers who participated in the failed coup attempt, including three fugitive generals, fled to PKK headquarters in Northern Iraq. The report said that fugitive soldiers, including three lieutenant colonels, fled to the Silopi district of Şırnak province in Skorksy helicopters following the failure of the coup attempt. In Silopi, putschist soldiers under the command of Brig. Gen. Semih Terzi, who was killed by Sergeant Ömer Halisdemir while attempting to seize the Special Forces Commandership in the Gölbaşı district of Ankara, reportedly helped the fugitives cross the Habur border gate on the Iraq border.

After crossing the border, PKK terrorists in the Zaho camp allegedly received the fugitive soldiers and took them to their headquarters in the Qandil Mountains. The report further claimed that among the fugitives are military staff officers who allegedly plan to flee to European countries with fake passports the PKK would provide.

While the government clamps down on the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ), the PKK has been heard via radio conversations offering help and cooperation to members of the shadowy group, Batman Governor Ahmet Deniz told Anadolu Agency (AA). Claiming that he knows who was behind the deadly coup attempt, Deniz said: "There are recordings from PKK radio transmissions in which they offer FETÖ terrorists to "embrace one another" and "move jointly" in case they decide to flee. Commenting on these radio conversations between members of the PKK and FETÖ, Deniz contended that the terrorist organizations work for a shared goal. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said in the past that the FETÖ collaborates with the PKK as well as its Syrian affiliate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and DAESH too, and asserted they are all the same.

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