Reyhanlı Massacre case and its important points after MİT’s operation

One of the suspects of Reyhanlı Massacre in 2013 was nabbed in Syria with a special operation of Turkish intelligence
Thursday, 13 September 2018 18:19

Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) carried out a secret operation in the principal port city of Syria, capturing the "a mastermind" of the Reyhanlı Massacre on May 11, 2013, which was one of the bloodiest terrorist attacks in Turkey’s history. 53 civilians lost their lives and about 150 people were wounded when two car bombs exploded in the southern Turkish border town of Reyhanlı.

After the terrorist attack, then-Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had appeared before the cameras and "laughingly" announced the death of 53 civilians, which caused a great reaction across the country.

SoL news reminds once again of the Reyhanlı Massacre case and its important points after MİT’s operation carried out in a suspicious period of time under the current discussions on Idlib operation.


The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which had made statements regarding that "it was the Syrian government responsible for this terrorist attack" immediately after the incident, had decided to impose a broadcast ban on the massacre and obfuscated the evidences by the help of heavy construction vehicles instead of collecting evidence on the scene of crime.

There had been a great reaction by the people in Turkey especially on social media due to the massacre has taken place after the AKP government turned the Turkish-Syrian border into a border-free zone, while Davutoğlu had threatened those who criticized the government over this massacre.

Stating that "the Syrian Opposition bears no relation to these bombing attacks in Reyhanlı, Davutoğlu had said: "Those who are as dangerous as this attack are certain segments that try to provoke our people against refugees and our government ─ and we know their twitter accounts. This incident bears no relation to the Syrian Opposition. The [Former] President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces [the Syrian National Coalition] called us to express his condolences."

Soon after, the pro-government media would claim that the perpetrator of Reyhanlı Massacre was a leftist organization People’s Liberation Party-Front of Turkey "Acilciler" (THKP/C Acilciler) under the leadership of Mihraç Ural, also known as Ali Kayyali, who is a Turkish-Syrian Alawite militant who leads the pro-Syrian government group, named the Syrian Resistance [formerly known as the Popular Front for the Liberation of the Sanjak of Iskandarun].

Thereafter, special operations would be conducted by the Turkish government and news about the detentions of the "suspects" related to the massacre would be reflected in the press. Then-Interior Minister of Turkey, Muammer Güler had said, "The attackers are affiliated with the regime in Syria and a Syrian intelligence-linked organization."


After Reyhanlı Massacre, the first lie fabricated by the AKP government was the claim that "The bombs used in Reyhanlı were loaded in northern Syria’s Raqqa". However, immediately after this statement of the Turkish government, it became evident that Raqqa was under the control of jihadists for months, not Syria. After the uncovering of this lie, the AKP began to rely on another scenario.


Just after the terrorist attack in Reyhanlı, it had been revealed that the city surveillance cameras were broken in the district during the massacre. 73 city surveillance cameras in Reyhanlı were not active during the massacre due to a "system failure" just before a few days to the attack.


Hacked documents leaked by the Turkish hacker group RedHack revealed how the AKP government had shut its eyes to the massacre in Reyhanlı. On 25 May 2013, RedHack shared some hacked and leaked documents belonging to Turkey’s gendarmerie intelligence department linked al-Qaeda-related groups in Syria to Reyhanlı Massacre, which was denied by Hüseyin Çelik, then-Vice President of the AKP. Çelik had stated that "The documents were leaked by a private using a cell phone but its content is unrelated to the bombings and the private is under arrest."

In the correspondence of the gendarmerie intelligence, there was so significant information that some bomb-laden vehicles belonging to Al-Nusra militants were found in the city of Raqqa under the control of the Syrian opposition as of April 25, 2013, and that these vehicles were searched by the Syrian government. The documents also contained information that the relevant vehicles loaded with bombs by Al-Nusra terrorists would be used in an attack to Turkey.

After the leaked documents, the AKP government began to carry out operations to find who leaked and shared the top secret documents and the Private Utku Kalı was illegally arrested for "leaking top-secret documents". Then, he was released on November 11, 2013.


While Islamic State (IS) claimed the responsibility for the massacre in Reyhanlı, then-Interior Minister of Turkey, Muarrem Güler, had insisted that the bombing attacks were not organized by the Islamic State.

In other words, the Islamic State’s commitment to Reyhanlı Massacre was denied by Güler, and Turkish government continued to blame the Syrian government for the attacks.


In the lawsuit filed about the massacre, Turkish courts never interrogated or investigated the intelligence document and its link with jihadist terror organizations in Syria.

The trial ended silently in the months we passed. On February 23, 9 defendants were punished with 53 penal servitude for life, including Nasır Eskiocak who is accused of being the perpetrator and mastermind of the deadly bomb attack.


The statements given by Nasır Eskiocak during the process of the trial were quite striking. Eskiocak had said in his interrogation that Yusuf Nazik, who is claimed to give the instructions to Eskiocak, often witnessed his phone conversation with the former Turkish Minister of Justice, Sadullah Ergin, and a member of Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT). Eskiocak claimed that Yusuf Nazik was using a special phone for contacting only with Ergin and the aforementioned MİT personnel. 

Eskiocak told that they had driven the vehicles to the scene of the crime in Reyhanlı, but he thought that there were drugs, not explosives, in the vehicles. Nazik is claimed to be the mastermind of  Reyhanlı Massacre. Phone calls belonging to Yusuf Nazik and Nasır Eskiocak had been reflected in the press and the conversation was showing that Nazik was giving instructions related to the attacks.


Nazik, who was captured by Turkish intelligence as a result of a special operation in Syria’s Latakia, said in his first statement that he received the order to carry out the bomb attacks in Reyhanlı from Syria.

‘‘I could not escape from the Turkish state; I am regretful. They captured me in Syria and brought to Turkey. I am inviting my friends in Syria to turn back while they still can. The Turkish state protects us; our own government protects us. I also speak to the Syrian government: Turkish state is so powerful and it will certainly pay you back soon,’’ he continued.

Yet, Yusuf Nazik had accused the jihadist groups in a statement he made in 2014, noting that ‘‘Topalca is a Turkmen who is a Syrian citizen supporting the jihadists in Syria. The person who laid this plot to us might be Heysem Topalca. We sometimes collaborated with Topalca to smuggle goods from the border. This guy smuggles from of old times. He can pass both from Reyhanlı district and Yayladağı. But we cannot even approach to Yayladağı. Those regions are under the control of jihadist groups, so they would kill us if we come into their views. Topalca has been certainly involved in this incident [referring to Reyhanlı Massacre].’’