MIT trucks: arms and medicine

In what can only be called a stunning piece of journalism, the Cumhuriyet daily newspaper provided readers with noteworthy images of National Intelligence Organization (MiT) trucks stopped near the Syrian border by prosecutors and gendarmerie some time ago.
The surprising element for me was one that I believe was surprising for many others as well. No, Iand’m not talking about the arms and ammunition in those trucks I donand’t think that was a surprise to anyone.
The surprise was the medicine boxes in those trucks. First and foremost, the fact that the arms in these trucks were hidden under medicine boxes indicates illegal activity. Unlike what the government is insisting, itand’s clear that the organization is involved in illegal operations. Itand’s also clear that the arms were hidden under medicine boxes in order to block possible surface inspections and X-rays. This dimension alone proves the unfairness of the treatment received by prosecutors and gendarmerie who were removed from their positions after they stopped the trucks for inspection. After all, if those arms were being transported for a legal reason, why were they hidden under medicine boxes?
The second point here is that the quality of those particular boxes of medicine was quite striking. It was clear that that medicine was headed for fighters in Syria. Weand’re talking about medicine meant to help treat war wounds, strong medicine that youand’d need in the war arena.
While itand’s tricky trying to figure out which arms make it to which groups, identifying the origins of a medicine box is much easier. A simple comparison between a medicine box found in an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) area and a medicine box from those trucks would reveal much about where assistance from Turkey is really headed.
So yes, connecting the dots between a medicine box found in ISILand’s hands and the factory that once produced said medicine box is easy. Medicine is not shrouded in secrecy the way arms are. Serial numbers and other identifying traits can be scraped off the surface of a gun, but medicine labels contain so much information — from where they were produced to where they were packaged, who transported them and so on. Which is why, if that investigation into the stopped MiT trucks would actually just start, it would be very easy to quickly identify all the responsible parties in this mysterious incident.
The third relevant point here is that, when the MiT trucks were stopped, government officials stepped forward to assert, and”Those trucks were carrying humanitarian aid to Turkmens in Bayirbucak.and” But the truth is, everyone knows those trucks were not headed to help the Turkmens. After all, the route a truck headed with aid for the Turkmens would take would be through Yayladere. But those trucks were stopped near Reyhanli. The region those trucks were headed for at the time was one controlled by Al Qaeda.
If what the Turkish government had really wanted was to get help to the Turkmens at that time, the trucks would have passed through Turkey at the Yayladagi border point, which has Turkmen villages right on the other side.
The fact that Justice and Development Party (AKP) government officials claimed the trucks contained and”humanitarian aid, medicine and so onand” shows us that in fact, they knew quite well what was in those trucks.
Under normal conditions, all the risks are placed on the shoulders of the intelligence agents carrying out such a dangerous operation. And if and when the intelligence agents are caught, itand’s expected that officials will stand up and claim they have no idea who they are, thus maintaining the secrecy shrouding the operation.
But in this incident, what we saw was President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the AKP showing that they knew what was in the trucks, thus shouldering responsibility for what had happened. In this way, any criminal investigation into this event would need to start with Erdogan.
Finally, it should be noted that one can always find arms on the black market. And since arms bought on the black market are generally paid for with money circulating on the black market, investigations into the sales, purchases, and cross-border transportation of such arms is generally quite difficult. Evidence and the criminals involved are tricky to discern amidst all the confusing pieces of the puzzle.
Unless the Erdogan regime has built a special factory to produce medicine for the fighters in Syria, it would actually be much easier to pursue the money trails by following the payments made for the medicine.
I believe that while the Erdogan regime certainly cannot explain away the arms in those trucks, it would be able to escape most of the elements noted above if any inspection or investigation were to occur. An investigation done into the medicine boxes contained in those infamous trucks might have quite a different outcome, however, there is the possibility that it could provide us with a trail all the way to the top.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman