From the interview conducted by Taraf's Nese Duzel and originally published on Jan. 27:
How many activities did you take part in when you worked for JITEM?JITEM's existence had long been denied by the Turkish state, although the recent Ergenekon coup-plot investigation has started to shed some serious light on its work. One complaint made by some critics of the Ergenekon investigation is that while the government is busy going after the alleged coup plotters -- many of them hard-core critics of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) -- as a way of dismantling Turkey's "Deep State," little was being done to look into the thousands of state-sanctioned murders that took place in the Southeast as part of the fight against the PKK. If you want to see the real work of the "Deep State," look there, the critics say. Aygan's confession may force investigators to start doing just that.
They called them “operations." For instance, a criminal was identified. Normally what happens? The security forces catch this person on demand of the prosecution and the prosecution takes that person to court. The person, depending on the crime, goes to prison or not. But JITEM operations were not like that. There were local agents and informants among the people. They told JITEM about those providing the PKK with provisions or having contact with the organisation. Then JITEM did its job.
What does “do its job” mean in JITEM speak? Killing?
“Doing its job” means “illegally taking a person to JITEM, questioning them, killing them and getting rid of the bodies by burning or burying them.” The importance of the operation depended on the importance of the person to be killed. The JITEM commander sometimes informed the Gendarmerie Public Security Gendarmerie Command, and they sometimes informed the Emergency State Governor’s Office, and sometimes they were not informed.