Former intelligence official confesses his role in assassination attempt against Öcalan

Former MIT counter-terrorism department head Mehmet Eymür admitted that he was involved in an assassination attempt against Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan in 1996 in Syria.Eymür also participated in the operation that killed Ulaş Bardakçı and Mahir Çayan.

In an interview with T24 Ankara reporter Gökçer Tahincioğlu, former MIT counter-terrorism department head Mehmet Eymür admitted that he was involved in torture, saying, “This does not count as torture. It is torture to be there anyway. People stay in a small cell with their eyes closed all the time. It is enough to end up there,” he said.

However, when asked about beating and electric torture, Eymür replied that “There were beating and electric torture,” and added that he himself was involved in torture and did not regret it.

Asked about former police chief Hanefi Avcı who claimed to have felt remorse that he had committed torture during his office, Eymür replied as follows:

“I don't like him very much. He manipulated a lot of Kurds who enjoyed the repentance law. He had dirty jobs. He was in over his head as he hired other people although he had a lot of police officers at his disposal. The police have no such duty abroad. He attempted to establish organizations against the PKK and sought to kill those who founded organizations. He tasked a team against Öcalan. They returned without doing anything.”


The T24 reporter reminded Eymür that he was also involved in an operation against Kurdish leader Öcalan in Syria in 1996, to which he replied:

“We were faced with obstacles from everywhere. Çevik Bir, who is in prison now, was the head of military intelligence. We bought 1 ton of explosives. The next day an article appeared on Cumhuriyet newspaper: “What will MIT do with the explosive?” We received permission from the president and other politicians. Even the MIT undersecretary cannot do it without permission. The Chief of the General Staff and the president had already agreed. We made a presentation. We provided information to them. It was a good presentation. We talked about our activities. They said OK. We continued. Yeşil (Green in Turkish) and some military personalities were there, as well as the officials we had secretly sent there. In fact, the operation cannot be called a failure. We could not kill Öcalan, but we caused such a big explosion that the entire Syria was frightened. The then Land Forces Commander made a statement after which Syria deported Öcalan. It paved the way for Öcalan’s deportation. It was a success since the bombing scared Syria. The explosion created a 17-meter pit there.”

Eymür stated that he also took part in the operations against Mahir Çayan and Ulaş Bardakçı, claiming that these were not executions.


Eymür admitted to the tortures executed in the Ziverbey mansion. “It is not possible to say that torture was applied to everyone. But there was torture. For example, there was a courier. He used to complain about his troubles. He was making fun of me asking whether there was electrical therapy because his rheumatism had acted up. Torture would be applied if there was no other way to make people talk, because there were indeed very stubborn people and it is very difficult to make them speak otherwise!” he said.

Defending torture, Eymür added, “If there is no other way to make people speak, torture can be resorted to. I still think this way. Because there are very stubborn people. It is very difficult to make them speak otherwise.”


Eymür said that there were more severe tortures and “deaths”. He also stated that they used Alaattin Çakıcı in an "operation" against the PKK in Germany.

“I wanted Çakıcı to be captured in America. We only used Çakıcı in one operation. It was an operation against the PKK in Germany. This operation was unsuccessful.”


Eymür remarked that Ergenekon emerged from a structure headed by Doğu Perinçek; “Those documents came out of his desk. Perinçek is a man who has done a lot of harm to Turkey. I said several times on TV “You are the one who had Hiram Abas killed.” However, no prosecutor stepped into action. On the contrary, Perinçek seeks compensation for being insulted. Veli Küçük was also involved in this. Veli Küçük is very interested in these affairs, and so is Perinçek. I talked to Zekeriya Öz and told him what I knew. He asked me whether I should be taken for “a suspect or a witness?”. “You tell me”, I replied. “Still, if anyone asks you the same questions a few years later, please remember me,” I added.”