Turkish informer says was pressured into testimony against civil society activists

A Turkish man who is said to be the informer used as a source for the detention of academics and civil society activists last week said he had been manipulated by the police while sharing information and accusations against detainees could not be based on that information, news site ODA TV reported on Thursday.

Thirteen academics and civil society activists were detained last week by the police for what the prosectors said their role in organising Gezi Park protests in 2013.

While 12 of the detainees were released and placed on a travel ban over the weekend, civil society activist Yiğit Aksakoğlu was officially arrested for reportedly taking part in an event on non-violent protests organised after the Gezi Park protests.

Columnist Yıldıray Oğur said on Monday that accusations against the detainees were based on a testimony given in 2016 by Murat Pabuç, who was said to be a former member of the Turkish Communist Party and a Gezi protestor himself.

Pabuç on Thursday applied to the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office and shared a statement with the press saying that the detentions could not be based on the information he shared with the police.

“It is not true that I provided information against those people and institutions who are on the top of the news recently and asked for their punishment,” Pabuç said. 

Pabuç admitted that he had shared some information with the police in 2016 but said that he had not been not acting as an informer and had provided his opinions on some issues. 

He said that the police had made him sign a meeting minute saying it had not been not an official document. 

“The reports in the press in recent days show that this document was prepared and I was made to sign it for manipulative purposes. The information and opinions said to be provided by me has nothing to do with me,” Pabuç said. 

Pabuç said that he had been dismissed from the Turkish Armed Forces for psychiatric problems and therefore he could not be used as a source for any investigation. 

Pabuç also said that he did not accept Gezi Park protests to be presented as an operation of foreign countries.