Turkish MP who claimed sarin gas was delivered to Isis in Syria through Turkey faces treason charges
A Turkish MP who claimed sarin gas was delivered to Isis in Syria through Turkey is facing treason charges.
Ankara’s Chief Prosecutor's Office opened the case against Istanbul MP Eren Erdem of Republican People's Party (CHP) after he gave an interview to RT on Monday.
"Chemical weapon materials were brought to Turkey and put together in ISIS camps in Syria, which was known as the Iraqi Al-Qaeda at that time."
On Tuesday, Erdem said he had become the target of a smear campaign and the victim of death threats because of his statements made in parliament.
Turkish media reported that the prosecutor’s office is planning to send a summary of proceedings to the Ministry of Justice and that the Turkish parliament could vote to strip Erdem of parliamentary immunity.
Erdem said that the Turkish paramilitary organisation Ottoman Hearths had also published his home address on Twitter.
"I am being targeted with death threats because I am patriotically opposed to something that tramples on my country's prestige," Erdem said.
Sarin gas is a military-grade chemical that was used in a notorious attack on Ghouta and other neighbourhoods near Damascus in 2013.
Erdem, from the Republican People's Party (CHP), made the claims in parliament, citing evidence from an abruptly-closed criminal case.
Erdem showed parliament copy of the criminal case (number 2013/120) that was opened by the General Prosecutor's Office in the city of Adana in southern Turkey.
He said evidence from that this case shows various Turkish nationals were dealing directly with Isis and other terrorist groups in Syria, supplying them with sarin gas.
The MP said authorities conducted raids and arrested 13 suspects in the case. But a week later the case was closed and all the suspects crossed from Turkey into Syria.
"There is data in this indictment. Chemical weapon materials are being brought to Turkey and being put together in Syria in camps of Isis which was known as Iraqi Al Qaeda during that time," Erdem told RT.
He slammed the government for not investigating supply routes used by terrorists and claims Turkish citizens negotiated with Isis reps on the supply of sarin gas.
“These are all detected. There are phone recordings of this shipment like ‘don't worry about the border, we’ll take care of it' and we also see the bureaucracy is being used,” continued Erdem.
“About the shipment, Republic prosecutor of Adana, Mehmet Arıkan, made an operation and the related people were detained. But as far as I understand he was not an influential person in bureaucracy. A week after, another public prosecutor was assigned, took over the indictment and all the detainees were released. And they left Turkey crossing the Syrian border.
“The phone recordings in the indictment showed all the details from how the shipment was going to be made to how it was prepared, from the content of the labs to the source of the materials. Which trucks were going to be used, all dates etc. From A to Z, everything was discussed and recorded. Despite all of this evidence, the suspects were released.
“And the shipment happened,” Erdem added. “Because no one stopped them. That’s why maybe the sarin gas used in Syria is a result of this.
“When I read the indictment, I saw clearly that these people have relationships with The Machinery and Chemical Industry Institution of Turkey and they don’t have any worries about crossing the border.
"For example in Hayyam Kasap's phone records, you hear him saying sarin gas many times, saying that the ateliers are ready for production, materials are waiting in trucks which were supposedly carrying club soda,” he told RT.
Erdem claims that a chemical attack Ghouta in Syria was probably carried by Isis using these sarin gas components.
“For example the chemical attack in Ghouta. Remember. It was claimed that the regime forces were behind it. This attack was conducted just days before the sarin operation in Turkey.
"It’s a high probability that this attack was carried out with those basic materials shipped through Turkey. It is said the regime forces are responsible but the indictment says it’s ISIS. UN inspectors went to the site but they couldn’t find any evidence. But in this indictment, we’ve found the evidence. We know who used the sarin gas, and our government knows it too,” he said.
Erdem said the basic materials for the sarin gas would have been sourced in Europe.
"All basic materials are purchased from Europe. Western institutions should question themselves about these relations. Western sources know very well who carried out the sarin gas attack in Syria. They know these people, they know who these people are working with, they know that these people are working for Al-Qaeda. I think is Westerns are hypocrites about the situation.”