The Life and Death of Alparslan Arslan: From Law School to Prison
Alparslan Arslan: The Man Behind the Danıştay Attack
Alparslan Arslan was a Turkish lawyer who became notorious for killing a judge and wounding four others in a shooting rampage at the Council of State (Danıştay) in 2006. He also took part in a bombing attack on a newspaper office that same year. He was later convicted of being a member of Ergenekon, a shadowy organization that allegedly plotted to overthrow the government. He died in prison in 2023 under mysterious circumstances. In this article, we will explore who Alparslan Arslan was, what he did, why he did it, and what happened to him.
Alparslan Arslan was born in 1977 in Bingöl, a province in eastern Turkey. He came from a conservative Kurdish family and graduated from Marmara University's law school in 1998. He worked as a lawyer in Istanbul and had ties to some notorious figures, such as Sedat Peker, a mafia boss, and Muzaffer Tekin, a retired captain who was involved in several coup attempts. He also attended meetings of a nationalist group called Vatansever Kuvvetler Güç Birliği Hareketi (Patriotic Forces Power Union Movement), which was founded by Veli Küçük, a retired general who was later accused of being one of the leaders of Ergenekon.
Arslan claimed that he was motivated by his religious beliefs and his anger at the secularist policies of the Turkish state. He said that he targeted the Council of State because it had issued rulings that discriminated against women who wore headscarves in public institutions. He also said that he wanted to punish Cumhuriyet, a newspaper that criticized the government and its Islamist agenda. He said that he acted alone and that he was not part of any organization. However, evidence later emerged that he was connected to Ergenekon, a clandestine network that aimed to destabilize the country and create chaos that would justify a military intervention.
The Danıştay Attack
On May 17, 2006, Arslan entered the Council of State building in Ankara with a gun and a fake press card of suspects who were involved in Ergenekon and its subgroups, such as VGBH, JITEM (a clandestine intelligence unit within the gendarmerie), and Sauna (a group of retired military officers). Arslan was among the defendants who were charged with being members of Ergenekon and participating in its activities. He was accused of carrying out the Danıştay attack and the Cumhuriyet bombing as part of Ergenekon's plan to create chaos and provoke a military coup. He was also accused of having links with other Ergenekon suspects, such as Veli Küçük, Muzaffer Tekin, Sedat Peker, and İlker Başbuğ (a former chief of general staff). He denied all the charges and claimed that he was a victim of a conspiracy. The trial lasted for five years and involved hundreds of hearings, thousands of witnesses, and millions of pages of documents. It was widely criticized by human rights groups, opposition parties, and some media outlets for violating the rights of the defendants, such as prolonged pre-trial detention, lack of access to evidence, and political interference. It was also seen as a tool for the government to silence its critics and consolidate its power. On August 5, 2013, the court delivered its verdicts in the Ergenekon case. A total of 275 defendants were convicted of various crimes related to Ergenekon, while 21 were acquitted. Arslan was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for killing a judge and attempting to overthrow the government by force. He was also sentenced to 30 years for being a member of a terrorist organization, 20 years for bombing a newspaper office, and 10 years for possessing explosives. He received a total of 460 years in prison. However, these verdicts were not final and were subject to appeal. In April 2016, the Supreme Court of Appeals overturned the convictions of all the defendants in the Ergenekon case, including Arslan. The court ruled that the prosecutors had failed to prove the existence of Ergenekon as a terrorist organization and that the evidence presented against the defendants was collected illegally or fabricated. The court also ordered a retrial for some of the defendants on different charges. The Death of Arslan
How did Arslan die in prison in 2023? What were the circumstances and the cause of his death? How did his family and his lawyers react to his death?
Arslan was found dead in his cell in Silivri Prison in Istanbul on February 17, 2023. According to the official statement by the Ministry of Justice, he committed suicide by hanging himself with a garbage bag. The statement said that he left a note explaining his reasons for ending his life and that he had no signs of physical violence on his body. The statement also said that an autopsy and an investigation were conducted to determine the exact cause and circumstances of his death.
However, his family and his lawyers did not accept this explanation and claimed that he was murdered by unknown assailants. They said that he had no motive or intention to kill himself and that he was hopeful about his retrial. They also said that he had received death threats from some inmates and guards and that he had complained about the poor conditions and ill-treatment in prison. They demanded an independent inquiry into his death and accused the authorities of covering up the truth.
His death sparked controversy and speculation among the public and the media. Some people believed that he was killed by Ergenekon members who wanted to silence him or by government agents who wanted to get rid of him. Some people also suggested that he was killed by foreign powers who wanted to destabilize Turkey or by religious extremists who wanted to punish him for his crimes. Others believed that he did commit suicide because he was depressed or remorseful or because he wanted to escape from his suffering.
Alparslan Arslan was a Turkish lawyer who became infamous for killing a judge and wounding four others in a shooting rampage at the Council of State in 2006. He also took part in a bombing attack on a newspaper office that same year. He was later convicted of being a member of Ergenekon, a secret organization that allegedly plotted to overthrow the government. He died in prison in 2023 under mysterious circumstances.
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His case is one of the most controversial and complex cases in Turkey's recent history. It involves issues such as secularism, democracy, human rights, justice, nationalism, religion, and violence. It also reflects the political and social conflicts and tensions that have shaped Turkey's modern history. It raises questions about the role and influence of the military, the judiciary, the media, and the civil society in Turkey's politics and society. It also challenges the credibility and legitimacy of the state institutions and the legal system in Turkey. Arslan's case is not only a legal case, but also a historical, political, and cultu