ASIA/TURKEY – Other three people accused of the massacre of Christians in Malatya have been released from prison

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Malatya (Agenzia Fides) - The first Criminal Court in Malatya has ordered the release of two former soldiers and a university researcher held for almost four years on suspicion of being involved in the murder of three Christians perpetrated in 2007 in the city located in south-east Turkey. On January 21, as reported by the Turkish media, the three men - Mehmet Ulger, Maj Haydar Yesil and Ruhi Abat - were released with the obligation not to leave the country and stay in Turkey for the final verdict of the trial.
It is believed that there are operations of political manipulation with regards to the case of the three Christians. Last June general Hursit Tolon, suspected of being the instigator of the murders, was already released while in recent months the three newly freed prisoners had begun to attribute the triple murder to members of the Hizmat movement of Fetullah Gulen, the Turkish preacher and political scientist who emigrated to the US and presented by the Turkish pro-government circles as the architect of international conspiracies aimed at hitting the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
With the release of the three detainees on January 21, only one of the 20 men arrested in March 2011 remains in jail, on charges of being involved at various levels in the triple murder of Malatya. All the others have been able to make use of forms of probation. Life imprisonment was requested for the five men accused as perpetrators of the massacre. But, since March 2014, they have been under house arrest.
On 18 April 2007, three evangelical Christians - the Turkish Necati Aydin and Ugur Yuksel and the German Tilmann Geske - were bound and their throats slit in the headquarters of the Zirve publishing house. With regards to the murders, investigation discovered a wide network of complicity that also involved military and security apparatus. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 27/01/2015)