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Gendarmerie sgt. says he made tipoff about Syria-bound trucks.

ANKARA (CyHAN)- A gendarmerie sergeant said he tipped off the Adana provincial gendarmerie command about three Syria-bound trucks in the city after listening to a suspicious wiretapped phone conversation, according to a report by T24, an online news portal, on Wednesday.

In mid-January, Turkish gendarmerie forces stopped three trucks in the southern province of Adana after receiving a tip that the trucks were transporting arms to Syria. The gendarmerie forces searched the trucks, which later turned out to belong to the National Intelligence Organization (MyT). What was discovered in the vehicles was not made available to the press; MyT later said the trucks were carrying humanitarian aid to war-stricken Syrians.

The T24 report on Wednesday said that the tip about the trucks came from a gendarmerie sergeant identified only by his initials, G.M. The news portal claimed to have spoke to the sergeant, who said he made the tipoff about the trucks out of a concern that the weapons being transported could be used in a terrorist attack against Turkey. According to the sergeant, he and a number of other gendarmerie officials were wiretapping the phone conversations of people he declined to name.

"I grew suspicious from one of the conversations," the sergeant said. What made the sergeant suspicious was a conversation about "three visitors" the speakers were expecting. "Then I went to my commander, H.G., and asked what we would do about the conversations. But my commander told me that our [only] duty was smuggling and that we would not concern ourselves with other issues. Then I asked him what he would do if the speakers [of the wiretapped recording] were talking about explosives and if something [such as a terrorist attack] might happen one day," the sergeant was quoted as saying by T24.

Then the sergeant said he decided to make a tipoff to the Adana provincial gendarmerie command. Shortly after, the three trucks were stopped and searched in Adana, and an investigation was launched into the prosecutor and gendarmes who inspected the trucks. Supported by about 300 gendarmerie officers, the prosecutor searched the trucks and recorded their contents, but was unable to open an investigation due to pressure from the government.

In late January, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoy-an said prosecutors could not stop trucks accompanied by MyT agents and that they had no right to search the trucks. "What a shame that our gendarmerie was also involved," he said, stating that everything possible would be done to punish the prosecutor and commanders who dispatched gendarmerie forces as per the prosecutor's request.

According to Article 26 of MyT Law No. 2937, MyT members or civil servants assigned by the prime minister for certain missions can only be tried after permission has been granted by the prime minister, and then only for crimes within the scope of the high criminal courts, as per Article 250 of Law No. 5271. (Cihan/Today's Zaman)

CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:Mar 6, 2014
Words:503
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