Turkey reopens investigation into murder of Cypriot journalist 25 years later

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Turkish prosecutors have reopened an investigation into the murder of Turkish Cypriot journalist Kutlu Adalı in 1996 based on the recent revelations of a crime boss.

The investigation was launched by the İstanbul Anadolu Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office after Atilla Peker, the brother of mafia leader Sedat Peker, testified about the Adalı murder.

Atilla Peker was briefly detained after Sedat Peker, who has been releasing videos on YouTube about shady relations between the mafia and state actors, claimed in the seventh video he posted on May 23 that he had tasked his brother Atilla Peker with killing Adalı upon a request from then-Interior Minister Mehmet Ağar but that his brother was unable to carry out the murder, although Adalı was shot dead shortly afterward in July 1996.

He said Korkut Eken, a former Turkish military officer and National Intelligence Organization (MİT) agent, told them later that “another team” had killed the journalist.

The prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Tuesday that documents and information would be requested from judicial authorities in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) as part of the investigation.

According to a leaked copy of Atilla Peker’s written testimony to the prosecutor, he confirmed his brother’s allegations about the Adalı murder and admitted to having been on a mission to the KKTC along with Eken to kill the journalist on Ağar’s orders.

Adalı, who worked for the left-wing Yeni Düzen newspaper in Nicosia and wrote on corruption allegations involving Turkish authorities, was shot dead in front of his home. His killers have never been identified.

Adalı’s wife, İlkay Adalı, appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) after the investigation in the KKTC failed to solve the case. On March 31, 2005 the rights court ruled that Ankara had not carried out an extensive and credible investigation into the murder and ordered it to pay 96,000 euros in damages.

Prominent human rights activist and lawyer Eren Keskin, meanwhile, tweeted on Tuesday that she spoke on the phone with Adalı’s widow, who told her she has been going through the same pain over the murder of her husband following the recent developments.

“I hope this state of impunity ends and the killers are revealed. Even if we know who his killers are, this is not enough,” İlkay Adalı told Keskin.

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