Added time: 06 January 2014, Monday 16:57
Ammunition found in Turkish 'aid truck' bound for Syria
It is claimed that large amounts of arms and ammunition have been discovered on a truck taking aid to Syria. It is claimed that large amounts of arms and ammunition have been discovered on a truck taking aid to Syria.
It is reported that following a tip off to the Hatay provincial gendarmerie a truck belonging to the IHH (Humanitarian Aid Foundation) was stopped near the Güzelce Gendarme post in Kırıkhan district. It is reported that a person in the vehicle claimed to be from the MIT (Turkish National Intelligence Organisation) and did not want the vehicle to be searched. However, during a search of the vehicle rocket parts, weapons and ammunition were found secreted amongst foodstuffs. While it is not known whether the armaments were seized, after a report had been drawn up the vehicle continued towards the city of Kilis at around 9 pm. Although it is claimed that 3 people were detained this has yet to be confirmed by the authorities.
The IHH has denied claims that the vehicle belonged to the foundation.
The officers, who stopped the truck near the Reyhanlı district in the southern province of Hatay on the border with Syria, were removed from their positions when they were still on the scene upon the prosecutor's demands.
The truck was followed by a team of police from Hatay's Terror and Organized Crime Department on a tipoff that it was carrying weapons and ammunition to Syria.
It was stopped twice by the police, first near a gendarmerie outpost on the Reyhanlı-Kırıkhan road and again on the Muratpaşa road. The police were prevented from searching the truck's cargo by an official statement from Gov. Celalettin Lekesiz, who said the cargo was a state secret.
Also, several chiefs and deputy chiefs from Hatay's Terror and Organized Crime Department were relocated after the incident.
In the only official statement with regard to the truck, Interior Minister Efkan Ala said Jan. 2 the truck was carrying aid to Turkmens in Syria, but did not give details about its cargo.
The alleged presence of ammunition on the truck, as well as the governor's demands that the truck be allowed to pass, have raised suspicions that the state is pursuing secret links with illegal armed groups who are attack to the Kurdish people also in Rojava West Kurdistan and Syria.
On 7 November 2013 the police raided the Metal Sanayi factory in Adana following a tip off that a large shipment of drugs was to be transported, finding a large number of rocket shells in a truck. In a statement made by Adana governor Hüseyin Avni Coş after the rockets had been taken to the Şakirpaşa Police Headquarters, he said it had been established that some of the 935 rocket shells found had been manufactured in Konya and the rest in Adana, and that their destination was Syria. In a statement made by the General Security Directorate, it was said that: "after an examination it has been established that the items were not rocket parts, as reported in the press, but resembled mortar shell cases." Three of the ten people arrested at that time were remanded in custody while the other 7 were released on bail.