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Cablegate: Seventh Wave of Ergenekon Arrests

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id: 170802
date: 9/22/2008 7:05
refid: 08ISTANBUL505
origin: Consulate Istanbul
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination: 08ANKARA1217|08ISTANBUL380
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8487
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK PRIORITY
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY

----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L ISTANBUL 000505

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/18/2018
TAGS: PHUM PREL TU ASEC AA
SUBJECT: SEVENTH WAVE OF ERGENEKON ARRESTS

REF: A. ISTANBUL 380
B. ANKARA 1217

Classified By: Classified by Consul General Sharon A. Wiener for reasons 1.4 (B) and (D).

1. (U) On September 18, in a seventh wave of
Ergenekon-related detentions, Turkish police in Istanbul,
Ankara, Izmir, Mersin, and Hakkari provinces took into
custody 17 people. (The religiously-oriented Zaman daily
newspaper reports that 19 people were taken into custody,
rather than 17, as reported by Dogan news agency affiliated
outlets.) In Istanbul, five army lieutenants, a military
academy student, well-known actress Nurseli Idiz, artistic
manager Seyhan Soylu, and lawyer Levent Temiz were taken into
custody.

2. (C) Temiz is the president of the nationalist
organization Ulku Ocaklari (Ideal Home), which is widely
believed to be the unofficial youth branch of the right-wing
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Both Sabah and Taraf
newspapers report the police have determined from a review of
phone records that Temiz had ties with both the charged
murderer of Hrant Dink and one of the terrorists involved in
the July 9 attack on the U.S. Consulate. This allegation
follows a front page report in Zaman newspaper on September
18 that made substantially the same allegations. The Legal
Attache in Istanbul advises it has no information regarding
Temiz and reports no knowledge of any connection between the
Ergenekon group and the attack on the U.S. Consulate. The
investigation into the July 9 attack is still on going.
Turkish police have refused to speculate on an Ergenekon link
to the attack.

3. (U) Zaman claims, without explanation, that Soylu played a
key role in the "post-modern military coup" in 1997 that led
to the collapse of the Erbakan government. Ruhat Mengi,
columnist for mainstream Vatan, notes that the timing of this
new Ergenekon operation seems designed to deflect attention
from allegations swirling around PM Erdogan in connection to
the Deniz Feneri corruption case. The 103 suspects accused of
having suspicious links to Ergenekon will begin to appear in
court on October 20, facing accusations that include
"membership in an armed terrorist group."
WIENER

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