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Turkish police report links Cage plan to Ergenekon

04 January 2010 [12:25] - TODAY.AZ
A detailed report recently prepared by the İstanbul Police Department suggests that a number of planned attacks against civilians mentioned in the Cage Operation Action Plan were devised by Ergenekon, a clandestine terrorist organization accused of plotting to overthrow the government.

According to the 200-page report, the killings of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, Catholic priest Father Andrea Santoro and three Christians in Malatya were planned by Ergenekon in order to create chaos in the country that would prepare the necessary grounds for a coup d'état.

The Cage plan was retrieved from a CD seized in the office of retired Maj. Levent Bektaş, an Ergenekon suspect, in April. The CD exposed the group's plans to assassinate Turkey's prominent non-Muslim figures and place the blame for the killings on the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). The desired result was an increase in internal and external pressure on the party, leading to diminishing public support for the government.

The Cage plan calls the killings of Santoro, Dink and the three Christians an “operation.” According to the police report, the mastermind behind the Cage plan was İbrahim Şahin, the former deputy chief of the National Police Department's Special Operations Unit.

Şahin is currently under arrest on charges of Ergenekon membership. During an interrogation last year, Şahin said he was ordered by a general to assemble members of the Special Operations Unit into death squads to assassinate community leaders.

The discovery of the Cage plan came shortly after the exposure of a large cache of munitions on land owned by the İstek Foundation in İstanbul’s Poyrazköy district. The munitions are believed to have been buried underground to be used for the planned assassinations.

The Cage plan also contained a horrifying planned act of terror against young students visiting the Rahmi M. Koç Museum. According to the plan, several blocks of TNT and other explosives placed at the bottom of a submarine exhibited at the museum would be detonated while a large group of students was visiting the museum.

The police report underlined that a number of hand-drawn maps seized in Şahin’s house showing the location of munitions buried underground were very similar to those seized during an operation launched to uncover the Cage plan. The plan document included a long list of weapons to be used in the scheme. The list showed the scale of threat which Turkey would have faced.

Since the launch of the investigation into Ergenekon, which began in 2007, wide range of weapons and munitions have been uncovered, either buried underground or even hidden underwater and at times abandoned on roadsides. The secret caches included anti-tank weapons, assault rifles, hand grenades, flame throwers and explosives. The Turkish Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKE) confirmed that these weapons belonged to the military. However, the military has been silent about the weapons listed in the Cage plan.

/Today's Zaman/

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