Staged explosions to Turkish military arms depots to cover weapons transfer to ISIS

A top military intelligence officer in Turkey claimed explosions in Turkish military arms depots were staged to erase the tracks of weaponry provided by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

By Abdullah Bozkurt

Maj. Ahmet Özcan, head of the Intelligence Assessment Center (İstihbarat Değerlendirme Merkezi), told the court in a prepared statement that explosions branded as accidents in Turkish military arms depots were orchestrated to fix the problem of arms missing from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).

“Everyone knows that record keeping is a very sensitive issue in the TSK and that reports are required to de-register even a smallest equipment [from the stockpile]. The missing [items] in the records were fixed by blowing up ammunition depots staffed by the MKE in [the Turkish cities of] Afyon and Urfa and [territory under the control of Turkey on the island of] Cyprus, which resulted in the killing and wounding of dozens of Turkish soldiers,” Özcan wrote in his statement, obtained by Nordic Monitor.

The MKE refers to Turkey’s state-owned Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKE), which manufactures explosives, ammunition, arms and other military equipment for the Turkish army. “If you go online and watch ISIS propaganda videos, you can easily see the MKE logo on ammunition crates. It wouldn’t take much to look for evidence,” he added.

Özcan was referring to an explosion that ripped through a munitions depot in the western province of Afyonkarahisar and killed 25 soldiers on Sept. 5, 2012. The Turkish military downplayed the blast, and critics claimed that if there were proper accountability and a through review of military records , the explosion would not have happened.

Another explosion took place in Turkey’s southeastern Şanlıurfa province on Nov. 13, 2019, injuring 16 soldiers. The blast occurred at the 20th Armored Brigade Command armory in Haliliye, which is located near the border with Syria.

The third one Özcan was referring to happened on the divided island of Cyprus, whose northern part is under the control of the Turkish military. At 01:30 on September 12, 2019 an explosion in a military zone in Turkish Cyprus’ coastal city of Girne ripped through the Ammunition Division Command. READ MORE HERE