Turkish ultra-nationalist leader consorts with jihadist who allegedly killed Russian pilot in Syria
A jihadist who allegedly killed a Russian pilot in Syria eight years ago has found refuge under the wing of ultranationalist leader Devlet Bahceli, despite having a search warrant against him for sending death threats, Cumhuriyet newspaper reports.
In 2015, Alparslan Celik initially admitted to shooting a Russian pilot who took off for the war zone in Syria in his fighter jet that was hit by a Turkish missile, but then changed his statement and denied the charges. A year later, he was sentenced to five years in prison on other charges and released in 2021.
Cumhuriyet columnist Baris Terkoglu said that Celik had now resurfaced and continued his mission as an ultranationalist in the MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) headquarters.
Terkoglu said that Turker Erturk, one of the former admirals who signed a petition against the government two years ago, received a death threat from Celik, who sent him a message saying he would "blow Turker's brains out"
According to Terkoglu, Erturk took the threat seriously. He filed a criminal complaint with the public prosecutor's office immediately after the threat, but was unable to initiate proceedings.
"For a long time, the prosecutor swept the file under the rug until he forwarded it to the Unsolved Cases Department on the grounds that the suspect could not be reached," Terkoglu said.
However, Erturk's lawyers discovered social media messages in which Celik posted pictures with MHP Chairman Devlet Bahceli and again approached the prosecutor, who insisted that "he could not be found."
The Cumhuriyet columnist said that the incident was in line with Bahceli's last statement, in which he said that he "will not have crushed a single nationalist friend," and that the prosecutor's office therefore continues to send files to the unsolved unit.