The 2014 National Intelligence Organisation scandal (Turkish: MİT tırları skandalı "The scandal of the NIO rigs"), is a military political scandal regarding the role of Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MİT) in supplying weapons to neighboring Syria during the Syrian Civil War.
|Scandals in Turkey|
1996 Susurluk scandal
1998 Lost Trillion Case
1998 Türkbank scandal
2008 Deniz Feneri Trials
2011 sports corruption scandal
2013 government corruption scandal
2014 MİT lorries scandal
The scandal broke out on 1 January 2014, when an anonymous call was made to the Adana Attorney General, claiming that a number of lorries were on their way to Syria carrying weapons on both days. Despite the Turkish Gendarmerie conducting a search on 19 January, their search was cut short by the Governor of Adana Hüseyin Avni Coş, who claimed that the lorries belonged to the National Intelligence Organisation (MİT). The prosecutor who ordered the search, as well many of the Gendarmerie soldiers who conducted it, were all removed from their posts and some faced legal investigation. The government, then led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, first claimed that the cargo of the lorries were a 'national secret', but later claimed that the lorries were carrying food and medical supplies to the Turkmen population in Syria. Many critics of the government alleged that the lorries were in fact supplying arms to rebel groups fighting in the Syrian Civil War.
On 29 May 2015, the newspaper Cumhuriyet released footage of the search, confirming that the lorries were in fact carrying weapons, with the title "Here are the weapons Erdoğan denied" (İşte Erdoğan'ın yok dediği silahlar). The government subsequently faced calls to resign while an investigation began into Cumhuriyet for releasing the footage. A legal complaint against Erdoğan was made by Republican People's Party (CHP) Member of Parliament Hüseyin Aygün, who accused him of high treason for supplying weapons to enemies of the Turkish state. A ban was placed on the footage of the lorries, which emerged to have transported 1,000 mortar shells, 1,000 rifled artillery shells, 50,000 machine gun rounds and 30,000 rifle bullets to what was alleged to be Al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Syria,[better source needed] but according to later academic study was the Free Syrian Army and rebel Syrian Turkmen.
On June 2, 2015, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sued Can Dündar, the editor of Cumhuriyet, and requested 2 aggravated life sentences plus 42 years of imprisonment. He and Cumhuriyet's Ankara representative Erdem Gül was arrested on November 26, 2015. After 92 days in prison, Dündar and Gül were released on February 26, 2016 after the Constitutional Court of Turkey decided that their detention was an "undue deprivation of liberty".
On May 6, 2016, Can Dündar was sentenced to imprisonment for five years and 10 months for "leaking secret information of the state". Dündar subsequently fled to Germany in June 2016 to avoid imprisonment. An arrest warrant for him was issued on October 31, 2016.
On 2019, 22 of the 54 suspects involved in the seizure were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 2 to 20 years for acting on the instructions of a terrorist organization, FETÖ. As well as obtaining and exposing the secret documents of the state.