A drug dealer who provided narcotics to military officers in a radical leftist group continues to operate in Turkey after his legal problems were made to go away by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a twisted judicial case.
Levent Çakın, a 41-year-old drug dealer in the town of Karamursel, located in Turkey’s northwestern Kocaeli province, was identified as a supplier of illegal narcotics in 2009 in an investigation by the police, acting on an anonymous tip. The information claimed that Çakın was using his butcher shop as a cover to supply drugs to military cadets and officers. Çakın was selling drugs to members of the military as part of a network run by leftist terrorist group Revolutionary Headquarters (Devrimci Karargah, or DK), a Marxist-Leninist organization aligned with the pro-Iranian Dogu Perinçek, a neo-natioalist leader and ally of the Erdoğan government.
Tip received by the police, intelligence agency and Office of the Prime Minister detailed how the drug trafficking worked:Levent_Cakin5
Çakın’s criminal record shows he had served three years in prison on multiple charges, from assault with a knife to bouncing checks. The information received by the police indicated that cadets and young officers recruited by the DK were obtaining drugs from him to use in sex and drug parties in homes leased by the group. The drug gang was led by Lt. Ülkü Öztürk, who was obtaining drugs from the butcher shop with the coordination and full knowledge of Ali Tatar, a lieutenant colonel who later committed suicide when authorities issued an arrest warrant for him.
Acting on the tip, the police raided the homes and offices of the group including the butcher shop and collected incriminating evidence such as ammunition and drugs.
Transcript of the police interrogation of Levent Çakın:Levent_Cakin1
During the execution of the search warrants, the investigators also discovered secret communications and documents among DK members which revealed, among others, a plot to assassinate Turkish Naval Forces admirals. The 168-page indictment, prepared by Turkish prosecutor Süleyman Pehlivan and accepted in February 2010 by the İstanbul 12th High Criminal Court, listed 19 suspects, including 16 naval lieutenants and Çakın, and contained detailed information about the alleged plot, including the suspects’ links with Revolutionary Headquarters.
In Samet ET butcher shop the police found a bag full of bullets of two calibers that the police criminal lab described in a July 2009 report as lethal and banned under firearms laws in Turkey. In a statement to the police, the prosecutor and the court, Çakın claimed the bullets were given by a client as collateral when the person did not have the money to pay for a purchase in the butcher shop.
The transcript of the police interrogation of Levent Çakın:Levent_Cakin2
Police also searched a safe house used by Faruk Akın and Sinan Efe in the city of Degirmendere (located at Hürriyet Caddesi 75. Yıl Sitesi B-1 blok D:10) and found secret communications, explosives and ammunition. One of the documents discovered in the house read: “Depending on the feasibility study by Col. Tayhfun Duman, [Maj.] Levent Bektaş will send the details and date of the operation against admirals [Metin] Ataç and [Eşref Uğur] Yiğit through Col. Orhan Yücel. Keep the equipment given to you in a safe place.” Next to the note police found 100 bullets and 500 grams of military grade TNT stashed behind the refrigerator.
In a second safe house (located in the same city at Yüzbasılar Mahallesi Istiklal Caddesi Paksan Apt. No:60 D:6), occupied by Alperen Erdoğan, Yakut Aksoy, Tarık Ayabakan and Burak Duzalan, investigators discovered various types of drugs, from heroin to ecstasy. A number of documents that included secret profiling lists of some 250 people, secret orders on how to operate, safe house organization and structure, minutes of secret meetings and the like were found.
Another document seized at this house included an article devoted to Orhan Yılmazkaya, a member of Revolutionary Headquarters who was killed in a gun battle with İstanbul police in April 2009. The shootout between police and Revolutionary Headquarters members during a raid on an apartment building in Bostancı left three people dead and eight others wounded.
The article, titled “After a Fallen Revolution Martyr,” says, “The day Orhan Yılmazkaya was slain is in fact the day he truly won.”
During the search of the third safe house (Yüzbasılar Mahallesi Kumlalı Apt. Teras kat 24/22), resided in by Sezgin Demirel and Onur Can Yilmaz, police found various publication, CDs and DVDs.
The evidence included a report prepared on documents found at the home of the lieutenants that linked the men to the organization. According to the report the leader of Revolutionary Headquarters is Perinçek, chairman of the Patriotic (Vatan) Party, formerly known as the Workers’ Party’s (İşçi Partisi). The document found on a flash drive included orders from Perinçek, who said exposed operatives must be replaced by others, urged secrecy of communication through couriers, asked for lectures for the indoctrination of young officers and urged an increased cash flow to finance operations.
Ammunition, drugs and secret terror group documents were found during a search of the homes and workplaces of suspects:admiral_plot1
The prosecutor demanded a sentence of between 13 and 34 years for the suspects and forwarded the indictment to the İstanbul 12th High Criminal Court, which ordered that it be merged with the Poyrazköy file, a separate case involving a weapons cache discovered in İstanbul’s Poyrazköy neighborhood in April 2009. Among a long list of weapons were hand grenades, light anti-tank weapons (LAWs), rocket launchers, Kalashnikov rifles, assault rifles, thousands of bullets and various explosives. According to the indictment the weapons discovered in Poyrazköy were to be used by a junta nested within the Naval Forces Command under the leadership of now-retired Col. Levent Göktaş to assassinate the admirals.
As the investigation expanded, the investigators found more incriminating evidence and new suspects. In the end 83 suspects were tried in the case, which took a turn in 2014 when Perinçek struck a secret deal with Erdoğan to free his criminal associates. On October 2, 2015 the court ruled to acquit all the defendants despite an abundance of incriminating evidence collected against them.
The drug dealer Çakın was also released. He continues to operate in Turkey while running a car dealership to cover his illegal activities.