Güldal Mumcu sheds light on husband's murder in book
Revelations from the widow of journalist Uğur Mumcu -- killed in 1993 in a car bombing -- in her recently published book are likely to shed light on Mumcu's assassination, considered one of the crucial murders left unsolved in the country.

In her recent book "İçimden Geçen Zaman" (The Time that Passed Through Me), Güldal Mumcu, who is currently both a deputy from the Republican People's Party (CHP) and deputy parliament speaker, wrote how her husband's assassination ended as an unsolved murder.

Among other things, she speaks of a visit from Mahmut Yıldırım, a mysterious state hitman, known by the codename "Yeşil," who worked for an illegal organization inside the gendarmerie force known as JİTEM, as well as in other behind-the-scenes operations for various state units, often involving illegal undertakings. According to the book, Yeşil visited the Mumcu house three years after her husband's death, in 1996, and even left a note of sympathy in the book of condolences that was still available for visitors.

Mumcu sheds light on the possible perpetrators of the murder by remarking, "I have never said Uğur Mumcu was killed by Islamists." She points instead to figures with close ties to Ergenekon, a shadowy crime network which has alleged links within the state and is suspected of plotting to topple the government.

Mumcu's book is likely to attract the attention of prosecutors.

Noting that her husband was doing research on the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Abdullah Öcalan, its now-jailed leader, before his death, Güldal Mumcu dwells on the name of Ömer Çiftçi.

Çiftçi is a known leftist who had close relations with commanders following the Sept. 12, 1980 military coup and who was active in political circles and labor unions.

According to Mumcu's book, Çiftçi asked her husband suspiciously on the day of his assassination whether or not he was planning to go out that day. Mumcu also believes Çiftçi made a special effort to avoid being called as a witness in the assassination case of her husband.

In hopes of reducing potential witnesses, Çiftçi allegedly attempted to have a taxi stand on the street where the explosion took place removed beforehand by claiming that the famous Uğur Mumcu wanted it relocated. Çiftçi's plot came to light when the mayor at the time called Uğur Mumcu to confirm Çiftçi's claims about the taxi stand. Çiftçi nonetheless threatened the taxi drivers to install opaque glass for the stand ahead of the murder. The fact that police took Güldal Mumcu's first deposition in Çiftçi's house down the street from her home raises further questions. Yet, the investigators of the Mumcu murder did not take any legal action against Çiftçi.

When an article was published in the Cumhuriyet daily containing negative comments about Çiftçi, then Confederation of Revolutionary Workers' Unions (DİSK) President Kemal Nebioğlu intervened. "I know Çiftçi, he is a good guy," he told the daily, asking them to lessen their criticism. Mumcu says in her book that what saddened her most was the fact that then Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief İlhan Selçuk did not stand behind the article on Çiftçi.

"You have a friend who was killed. When you should be working to cast light on the murder, you assist in acquitting Çiftçi," Güldal Mumcu says.

When Mumcu was attempting to deepen the investigation into her husband's murder, Çiftçi gave an interview to the Hürriyet daily in which he described her as having a psychological disorder.

'Aren't you afraid of being killed?'

Then National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Deputy Undersecretary Hiram Abas reportedly asked Uğur Mumcu if he feared for his life due to his work related to the PKK and its ties with the state and the international arena. When the Israeli ambassador at the time asked Mumcu the same question, the journalist voiced his concern over the repeated questioning to his wife. He subsequently learned he had been followed while on a trip he took to Germany to obtain a document concerning the PKK. The remarks of a security guard manager who visited the Mumcu family following the murder of Bahriye Üçok, an intellectual who was the victim of an unsolved murder in 1990, indicate that Mumcu's murder was in the waiting.

"The door of the building where Mumcu was living was locked and only opened through the intercom system. Mumcu's entry into the building was not regular, as he was working at home. So it was only possible to kill him by placing a bomb in his automobile," said the manager.

Güldal Mumcu also finds the remarks of then Parliament Speaker Hüsamettin Cindoruk, who also came to the Mumcu family to offer his condolences, very striking.

"We were expecting [such an assassination]," Cindoruk told Güldal Mumcu.

In her book, Güldal Mumcu also talks about the mistakes in her husband's autopsy report, which described her black-haired husband as having white hair and blue eyes.

Mumcu also writes that one of the prosecutors of the time, Ülkü Coşkun, said of the murder: "This is the work of the state. If the political authority wanted to, it could solve the murder."

In the book, Mumcu describes how when she asked the prosecutor whether cleaners who came to the site of the explosion were also state-sponsored, the prosecutor responds in the affirmative.

And when asking MİT Undersecretary Sönmez Köksal how they found out that the perpetrators of the assassination had links with Iran, Köksal answered, "We discovered the information by intuition."

Mumcu said she reported all of these conversations to then President Süleyman Demirel and Justice Minister Seyfi Oktay.

Uğur Mumcu's killers also targeted his wife. According to Mumcu's book, an individual named Ozan came to Mumcu's house and told her: "Your husband was killed because he revealed the ties between MİT and Öcalan. There are concerns about you because he might have shared the information he had with you. I was commissioned to kill you but I had the conscience not to do it."

In her book, Güldal Mumcu says she has gone to great lengths for years to protect her two children from attacks.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2012-11-29 20:00:01
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