Two officers arrested over Adana trucks released

Two members of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) who were arrested last week as part of an investigation into the stopping and searching of Syria-bound trucks in the southern province of Adana were released Monday night pending trial.

The release of the officers came after their lawyer appealed against their arrest.

The lawyer, Levent Koçer, told the media late Monday that the arrests were “not meaningful.” “A prosecutor previously asked a court to arrest my clients. But the court decided to release them. The prosecutor later appealed against the court’s decision, and the decision was rejected. Despite this, a prosecutor demanded the arrest of my clients last week,” the lawyer stated.

Noncommissioned officer G.M. was arrested by a court on April 11. Another gendarme, H.G., was arrested on April 10.

In January, Adana Chief Public Prosecutor Özcan Şişman ordered police and gendarmes to stop and search Syria-bound trucks on suspicions of transporting arms. The incident drew the ire of the government, which claimed at the time that the trucks were carrying humanitarian aid and had nothing to do with any kind of arms cargo.

The government soon removed the prosecutor, police chiefs and one gendarmerie commander who took part in the operation. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government argued that the local security forces did not have the authority to search trucks that belonged to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), which raised questions about the operation, such as how the prosecutor and police chiefs got the information about the Syria-bound trucks.

The release of the gendarmes followed the release of six police officers who were arrested in Adana last week over claims of illegal wiretapping. The police officers were released pending trial on Monday evening. They were arrested as part of an investigation into allegations of illegal wiretapping based on reports in some pro-government newspapers that made claims of such activities. The officers were arrested on the grounds that they had engaged in illegal wiretapping.