Abdullah Bozkurt / Stockholm
An Al Qaeda operative who was under surveillance for suspected terrorist activities in the past has set up a jewelry and steel business in Istanbul, a Nordic Monitor investigation has revealed.
According to trade register data filed on January 24, 2020, Bekir Eroğlu, a 35-year-old Turkish national from Kırşehir province, has established a company under the name of Feda Çelik ve Kuyumculuk Ticaret Limited Şirketi which focuses on precious metals and gemstones like as well as steel products. Eroğlu owns half of the company with a capital investment of 100,000 TL ($ 16,800), while his partner, Tarkan Dalkılıç, owns the rest.
The company was licensed to sell, import and export all kinds of precious metals and gemstones, from gold and silver to diamonds and other precious stones. Steel products have also been added to the Company’s Business Category as described in the file.
Deposit in the trade register of jewels and precious metals as well as steel products by Bekir Eroğlu and his partner:
Eroğlu had long been under the surveillance of Turkish police investigators who monitored Al Qaeda cells in Turkey in relation to conflict areas in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria. The investigation, overseen by the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office, was carried out by the anti-terrorism department of the police.
The transcript of a wiretap dated April 2, 2012 and submitted to the judge by the police to justify the extension of the interception signal of Eroğlu’s cell phone clearly indicated that Eroğlu was part of a jihadist company with the aim to establish a sharia state in Turkey. .
He described the secular and democratic structure of governance in Turkey as taghut, a term used in reference to tyrants and idols worshiped in violation of Islamic principles and therefore needed to be overthrown.
The wiretap transcript and police assessment report on Bekir Eroğlu:
When Mehmet Karatekin (aka Hamza), the other party on the phone, asked him about radical cleric Nureddin Yıldız, Eroğlu vouched for the cleric, saying: “He’s a standing man who knows what he speaks and who knows Islam. Emphasizing that Muslims need a clergyman like Yıldız to guide them to the true path, Eroğlu said: “On our side, my people know him well.”
Virulently anti-Semitic Imam Yıldız is close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a leading figure in conservative and pro-government groups. He has often been a keynote speaker at youth events organized by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and at conferences and conferences sponsored by pro-government groups and foundations.
Yıldız openly advocates armed jihad, describes democracy as a system for infidels and says it can only be used as a means of deception to gain power. He is the man who radicalized the young al-Nosra-affiliated policeman Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, who assassinated Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov to Turkey in December 2016.
Several witnesses confirmed that the assassin had attended sermons given by the radical cleric’s own NGO, the Social Fabric Foundation (Sosyal Doku Vakfı), in the Turkish capital since 2014. The Turkish prosecutor ignored all these leads, did not not indicted Yıldız and deliberately diverted the focus of the investigation away from those close to the Erdoğan government.
Court order for wiretapping of telephone Bekir Eroğlu and documents filed by the prosecutor and the police to justify the interception of the signal:
The police report on Eroğlu, dated May 5, 2012 and prepared by counterterrorism chief Ömer Köse, said his group subscribed to the ideology of al-Qaeda, tried to pay attention to the phone. not divulge any information and sent fighters to jihadist regions abroad using false passports through illegal crossings. It was discovered that some of the suspects in Eroğlu’s group were linked to al-Qaeda militants who had carried out terrorist attacks in the past.
Based on the police investigation, prosecutor İsmail Tandoğan filed a petition with the 16th Istanbul High Criminal Court requesting permission to issue a wiretap warrant against suspect Eroğlu on May 8, 2012. The Prosecutor explained in his file that wiretapping was necessary to map the network and identify Eroğlu associates by intercepting his telephone signals. Judge Seyfettin Mermerci granted the wiretap request the same day.
Eroğlu managed to escape the long arm of the law when the Erdoğan government intervened, halting all surveillance activities targeting al Qaeda cells from February 2014. Numerous police chiefs, prosecutors and judges involved in Al Qaeda cases have been purged and / or jailed on false charges. Some 30 percent of all judges and prosecutors have been dismissed by the government in recent years.
Police chief Köse, who attacked al-Qaeda terrorists, has been in prison since 2015, while prosecutor Tandoğan and judge Mermerci fled Turkey to avoid bogus imprisonment by Erdoğan’s regime .