Musa Anter case may end up being dropped due to the statute of limitations

Dicle Anter says his father’s case faces risk of being dropped in 18 months due to statute of limitations.

Prominent Kurdish writer Musa Anter’s son Dicle Anter stated that the Musa Anter case will be dropped due to the statute of limitations in 18 months. The latest hearing of the case was held on January 20.

The case of Musa Anter, who was murdered in 1992, may be dropped due to the statute of limitations approximately one and a half years later. ANF asked Dicle Anter, the son of Musa Anter, about the latest situation regarding the case. Briefly summarizing what happened, Anter appeals the public: "My father was shot and martyred in 1992 and 2022 will mark its 30th year. During this period, we appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) which found Turkey guilty of failing to protect the security of Musa Anter. A lawsuit was reopened in Diyarbakır and we gained a period of 30 years. During this period, many high-level important witnesses showed up. Kutlu Savaş, Veli Kucuk, Mehmet Eymür who were involved in notorious activities testified to the courts.

The most striking statement came from Mehmet Eymür: "I am an intelligence agent, I will not say anything, but everything is already recorded in the MIT (Intelligence Service) and the General Staff." Despite that having been said so openly, we still face great difficulties. Abdulkadir Aygan's statement was never taken in Sweden. There is Süphan Mete in Germany, who did not make a statement either. This is how we came to this day and we want to draw the public attention 18 months before the period of limitation.”


Dicle Anter further said: “Today, it is necessary to clearly state that even though the killer is a Kurd, this is a state-organized murder. For years it has been said that the informant who pulled the trigger was a PKK member, but an informant cannot be a PKK member, he was a person who was already under the control of the Turkish state by informing. I would like to ask: why does the state not explain even though it has all the documents? When we asked the commander in charge of JITEM (military intelligence service) at that night, he said he was doing a desk job at the time. We know that the JITEM was perpetrating the greatest village massacres. If desired, only one day's job would be enough to collect this information which is needed by the court. For example, we told the delegation charged with taking Abdulkadir Aygan's statement, that we could pay if they do not have money, yet they did not accept our offer. They are trying to raise difficulties, that's for sure. They intend to close this case with the statute of limitations. Not only Kurdish intellectuals but also many Turkish intellectuals were killed in Turkey. That is why they need to be revealed as soon as possible, and we are appealing the public again for this.”


Prominent Kurdish journalist and writer Musa Anter was murdered on September 20, 1992, as a result of an armed attack in Amed (Diyarbakir), where he attended a culture and arts festival. After the murder, it was stated in the report of "Parliamentary Investigation Commission on Political Murders by Unknown Perpetrators Committed in Various Regions of Our Country" prepared by the Assembly on October 12, 1995, that the allegations related to the murder could not be confirmed as a result of the commission's investigations into the murder of Musa Anter. Despite the many witnesses, no exact steps have been taken.


An investigation report prepared by the Prime Ministry Inspection Board Chairman Kutlu Savaş in 1997 over the Susurluk Affair that took place in 1996 cited Mahmut Yıldırım, whose code name was "Green", in connection with the murder of Musa Anter.  The report said MIT knew about Yıldırım and his activities. The remarks of the MIT in the same report said "Muhsin Gül, who was detained in Diyarbakır Prison by year 1994 (Code name: Kekeç-Pepe-Metin,) said in his statements he gave at Diyarbakır Homicide Department between 22.07.1994 - 16.08.1994 that A. Demir planned and implemented the murder of Vedat Aydin and Musa Anter.


In 2000, Mehmet Eymür, who was the former head of the MIT Counter-Terror Department, announced in 2000 that Mahmut Yıldırım (Green) was captured by the MIT after his interrogation at the Ankara Police Department.

Abdülkadir Aygan, a former informant living in Sweden, gave an interview to Özgür Gündem on the subject in 2004. In the interview, which contained confessions about many unsolved murders and the structure of JİTEM, Aygan said that he was part of the JİTEM team that carried out the murder of Musa Anter and that the murder was planned by Mahmut Yıldırım (Green). In 2009, Diyarbakır Specially Authorized Chief Public Prosecutor's Office accepted Abdülkadir Aygan's confessions and restarted the investigation.

An arrest warrant was issued for the informants Cemil Işık, Ali Ozansoy, Abdulkadir Aygan, Hamit Yıldırım, and Mahmut Yıldırım (Green). Hamit Yıldırım was detained on June 29, 2012. With the arrest of Yıldırım on 2 July 2012, the case did not face a statute of limitations. The indictment dated June 25, 2013, prepared as a result of the investigation initiated, was accepted by the Diyarbakır 7th High Criminal Court on July 5, 2013. The first two hearings were held on July 31 and August 1, 2013 at the same court.


However, in the period before Yıldırım's arrest, with the application of the family in 2006, the ECtHR ruled that the murder of Musa Anter was committed by state officials, at least with the knowledge of state officials, and because the murder was not investigated effectively by the state, Turkey violated the article two of the European Convention on Human Rights.


In 2015, Diyarbakır 1st Heavy Penal Court decided to combine the main case of JİTEM with the murder case of Musa Anter at Ankara 6th High Criminal Court. Nuri Limit, who was heard as a witness after 28 years at the 14th hearing held in Ankara 6th High Criminal Court in June 2020, said, "I know that there was a structure in Diyarbakir called JITEM and there would be no survivors in their hands". The trial was postponed from October 21, 2020 to January 20, 2021. While Aygan's statement was still not taken in the hearing held on January 20, the lawyer of the case Selim Okçuoğlu demanded that former Ankara Police Chief Zeki Çatalkaya be heard as a witness. The court decided to request address information for Çatalkaya and to continue the judicial control measure of the defendant Hamit Yıldırım. The next hearing of the case has been postponed to 7 April.