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HDP demand answers over Turkish intelligence terror links

TURKEY’S opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP) demanded answers in parliament today over alleged links between the intelligence services and the Isis mastermind of a deadly spate of bombings across the country.

HDP MP for Antep Mahmut Togrul grilled the government over allegations that the National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) had hosted the Isis operative behind bomb attacks in Suruc, Diyarbakir and Ankara that left at least 184 people dead.

Leaked security notes circulated this week alleging that Turkish spooks hosted Ilhami Bali at the five-star Anadolu Hotel in Ankara, where he is reported to have stayed from March 27 to 29 2016.

Meetings were held between MIT and Mr Bali over this period, despite there being active arrest warrants for his involvement in the bomb attacks.

The note says he was protected by MIT agents throughout his stay and was not allowed to leave his room at the beginning of it. 

His handlers in the hotel were Serhan Albayrak, a contract agent who works on the Syria desk at MIT, and Ahmet Ozcelik, a translator who worked on the Iraq desk.

It is alleged that his actions were directed by MIT, which worked with Isis to manipulate the political situation during the crucial election period of 2015. 

Previously, European intelligence sources had suggested that the attacks were orchestrated by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The report said: “There is reason to believe that, in this case, forces within the AKP commissioned the Daesh [Isis] operatives.”

And last month, former prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu raised eyebrows when he suggested that Mr Erdogan and his nationalist coalition party allies were implicated in the bombings in Suruc and Ankara.

Mr Bali is alleged to have been responsible for the smuggling of jihadists and logistical supplies and the transfer to Turkey of wounded Isis fighters from Syria.

Mr Togrul demanded answers from Vice-President Fuat Oktay, who has yet to respond.

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