North Caucasian Diaspora Asked Justice for Medet Onlu!
North Caucasian associations and foundations in Turkey, as well as four human rights organizations gathered in front of the Palace of Justice in Ankara to ask “justice” for Medet Onlu, Honorary Consul of Chechen Republic of Ickerya in Turkey, who was assasinated in his office on May 22, 2013.
On January 12, the North Caucasian associations and foundations in Turkey including “Ankara Chechen-Caucasians Culture and Solidarity Association” and “Kahramanmaras Chechen Culture Association”, as well as the Human Rights Association (IHD), the Organization of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed People (MAZLUMDER), the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) and Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly (HYD) gathered in front of the Palace of Justice in Ankara to give their supports to Onlu family.
The participants hold placards and posters like “Justice for Medet Onlu”, “Where are the perpetrators?”; many participants had also the flag of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Activists said no progress was made in the probe regarding the motive for the murder, despite it being two years since the murder, and called on the authorities to find “all of the culprits.”
During the protest meeting, the press statement was read by Yasar Aslankaya, president of the Federation of Caucasian Associations (KAFFED).
The statement said, “We witness with sorrow that although nearly 20 months have passed, the real perpetrators of the murder have yet to be revealed and those responsible have not yet been delivered to law [system]. The inability to solve this murder, which took place in the Turkish capital in broad daylight, will be the shame of the Turkish state. Those who planned this murder must be revealed, along with their motives. All of those responsible for the murder must be captured immediately and delivered to the law.”
The statement read out by Aslankaya noted that Murat Aluc, Omer Peltek and Rizvan Ezbulatov, the three people suspected of being involved in the murder using the information in Onlu’s telephone and personal diary, have not been apprehended.
The joint statement criticized the negligence of the authorities regarding Onlu’s case. He said the investigation failed to make progress over the last 20 months, adding that the suspects have fled and the mastermind of the attack is yet to be found.
The statement also pointed out that the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) failed to provide information on Ezbulatov on a request from the prosecutor’s office, citing a lack of information on the suspect, even though Ezbulatov is known to have been involved in many illegal activities since the ’90s and has spent time in Turkish prison.
The statement reminded that Ezbulatov had been free to wander around Turkey for up to 40 days before the murder, even meeting the assassination victim Onlu on April 30, 2013; noting that Ezbulatov managed to escape abroad, two days after the assassination via Istanbul Ataturk Airport, even though his link with the murder was established immediately after the shooting.
The protesters claim that Ezbulatov is hiding in Ukraine while Omer Peltek, another suspect remains missing.
Murat Aluc, one of the suspects of the murder, was recently taken into custody, 18 months after the assassination took place, but according to the joint statement, the Turkish authorities failed to further their investigation following Aluc’s testimony.
After the press statement, Ozturk Turkdogan, head of IHD gave a brief speech to journalists as saying that they wanted to send a message to Chechens through Onlu.
Ozturk Turkdogan, the chairman of Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD), said that Onlu became a victim of a political assassination for his position on the issue of Chechens being used to fight in the conflict in Syria. Turkdogan stated that he wished this murder will be solved alongside many other unsolved murders.
“Onlu’s stance regarding the Syrian conflict was important. The assassinations of opinion leaders and widely-esteemed people are entirely political,” the head of the İHD said.
Stating that the savagery of jihadist organizations is being condemned internationally, Turkdogan said: “The issue of youngsters joining these organizations is a real problem. Onlu had an upright stance regarding his opposition towards sending Chechens to fight in the Syrian war. I think they wanted to give the Chechens a message through here [Onlu].”
Leyla Eser Onlu, wife of Honorary Consul, also repeated a possibility that his husband might be killed because he opposed Chechens fighting in Syria. Recall that Leyla Eser Onlu had filed a petition in June 2014, with the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office, in which she argued that her husband was killed because he opposed the recruitment of Chechens to join the Syrian war. Onlu had claimed that her husband was shot while under surveillance by MIT and the National Police Department Intelligence Unit. In her petition, she had also stated that despite her husband’s pristine record as an exemplary citizen, the family had always been under the surveillance of Turkish intelligence units. “In every neighborhood we moved into, intelligence research on us was conducted by questioning our neighbors and local residents.”