Prosecutor who stopped MİT trucks, two others reassigned

Three public prosecutors serving in the southern province of Adana, including one who stopped and searched several Syria-bound trucks in January, were removed from their duty and reassigned to other posts on Tuesday.

The 1st Chamber of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) announced on Tuesday that prosecutor Mustafa Sırlı was appointed to a post in Sivas while Aziz Takçı was appointed to Trabzon and Ahmet Karaca to Kayseri.

Takçı came into prominence in January when he stopped and searched Syria-bound trucks on suspicions of transporting arms in Adana.

What was discovered in the vehicles was not made available to the press, but the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) later said the trucks were carrying humanitarian aid to war-stricken Syrians, while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, during a television program, that the trucks were carrying aid to Turkmens in Syria. On the program, Erdoğan appeared to have been particularly angry with the prosecutor for having instructed the content of the trucks to be videotaped.

Targeting the prosecutor, the prime minister said: “Where will you present this [information you have obtained about the trucks]? In the name of what are you involved in this [action]?” The prime minister also called Takçı a “parallel prosecutor,” implying that Takçı was part of a parallel structure within the state that is behind the investigation involving the Syria-bound trucks.

In late January, Takçı was stripped of extraordinary powers to conduct investigations granted under Turkey’s anti-terrorism laws.

In response, the prosecutor filed a criminal complaint against Prime Minister Erdoğan for insult and slander in early April. The prosecutor said in his petition that the remarks made by Erdoğan constitute the offense of insult according to Articles 125 and 131 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) and slander according to Article 267 of the same code.