Ergenekon subgroup dealt big blow

Ergenekon subgroup dealt big blow



Turki sh police on Friday detained nearly 200 suspected members of an
outlawed fundamentalist organization, Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of
Liberation) in simultaneous raids in 23 provinces across Turkey.

The detentions came as a serious blow to the Ergenekon terrorist
organization, which is accused of planning a military coup against the
government. Ergenekon is known to have close links to a number of
outlawed groups, including the Turkish branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Yesterday’s detentions were mainly in Konya, Kocaeli and
Å=9Eanlıurfa, along with Ä°stanbul and Ankara. Police said they
confiscated a number of documents linking the suspects to the
fundamentalist group. Hizb ut-Tahrir is an extremist group seeking to
reinstate the Islamic caliphate.

The suspects were sent to the counterterrorism unit in Ankara’s police
department for interrogation. According to police sources, the
organization was preparing for a number of terrorist attacks to
heighten tension in the country. The operations came in the wake of a
police investigation of more than six months.

Some of the suspects shouted: `Allow us to tell the truth. Democracy
will be abolished. Shariah rule will come,’ as they were taken into


Hizb ut-Tahrir was founded in 1953 in Jerusalem by Taqiuddin
al-Nabhani, an Islamic scholar. Since then the organization has spread
to more than 40 countries and by one estimate has around 1 million
members. The close ties between Hizb ut-Tahrir and Ergenekon were
exposed in the second Ergenekon indictment.. Dozens of Ergenekon
suspects are currently standing trial, including retired and active
duty military members, businessmen and journalists.

According to the Ergenekon indictment, Ergenekon leaders used
terrorist organizations in Turkey from all backgrounds, worldviews and
political ideologies for their ultimate aim to create chaos in the
country, which they hoped would make it easier to realize their
ultimate goal of triggering a military intervention.

The evidence suggests that the group had links with the terrorist
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the extreme-left Revolutionary
People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C), the fundamentalist
organization Hizbullah, the ultranationalist Turkish Revenge Brigade
(TÄ°T), the Turkish Workers’ and Peasants’ Liberation Army (TÄ°KKO),
the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) and the Hizb ut-Tahrir.

Several other suspected members of Hizb ut-Tahrir have been arrested
in the past across Turkey on charges of being members of an outlawed
organization and planning bloody attacks against civilians.

The group has been undergoing a restructuring for some time, which
compelled police to closely monitor its suspected members. The Turkish
branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir is mainly based in Ä°stanbul’s Bahçelievler

Police said the group was planning to stage a large attack in
Ä°stanbul on the anniversary of the abolishment of the caliphate. The
Ottoman caliphate was abolished by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder
of the modern Republic of Turkey, on March 3, 1924, following the
establishment of a secular state.

The group’s members in Turkey reportedly paid frequent visits to
Indonesia, where they attended seminaries and conferences on the
group’s structure and principles.