After arrest, Turkish ISIS leader involved in Ankara massacre denies membership in group

Newly released documents show that the head of Turkish fighters for ISIS in Syria, Mohammed Cengiz Dayan, who was involved in the 2015 Ankara train station bombing, told his arresting officers that he was not a member of ISIS and cursed the Ankara massacre as a “crime against humanity.” He also said he would save up money to do Turkish military service.

Mohammed Cengiz Dayan is seen.

Duvar English 

New court documents released as part of the trial prosecuting those responsible for the ISIS bombing in front of the Ankara Train Station on Oct. 10, 2015, show not only that Mohammed Cengiz Dayan, the alleged leader of Turkish members of ISIS in Syria, was involved in the attack, but that afterward he denied his ISIS membership and offered to serve in the Turkish military. 

According to Ömer Yetek, the “media minister” of ISIS, Dayan went by the name Ebu Zeynep and was in charge of the “Fursanül Hilafe Ketibesi,” a cadre of Turkish ISIS fighters, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Nov. 21. Dayan was one of the central actors in the Ankara Train Station bombing on Oct. 10, 2015, in which 109 civilians were killed and more than 500 injured. The bombing was one of ISIS’s largest attacks in Turkey.

Documents released at the trial show that Dayan shot at police officers when they tried to arrest him in Turkey's southeastern province of Gaziantep 28 days after the massacre. When he was caught, police seized two pistols and 532 bullets from his vehicle. After his arrest, Dayan was charged with “crimes against humanity,” tried, and sentenced to 10 years, 10 months, and 37 days in prison. 

When he was first arrested, documents show, Dayan told officers he didn’t know what ISIS was.

“I don't know such an organization,” Dayan said to the arresting officers. “I had no interest or involvement [in the massacre]. I condemn this incident as a crime against humanity and massacre.”

He further gestured at his commitment to the principles of the Republic of Turkey as indicators of his innocence. He said he votes in Turkish elections and that he “loves” the Republic. He said he was previously “framed” by the police.

“I love the Republic of Turkey. Thank you to the security forces. I want them to be successful,” he said. 

He said that the only reason he had not completed his military service was that he was “arrested” and that he was “afraid of being killed by a terrorist organization.” He told officers, however, that he was willing to do paid, shortened military service in Turkey if given the opportunity. 

Another ISIS member, Erman Ekici, was on trial alongside Dayan for involvement in the massacre. Ekici was released by Turkish authorities on “lack of evidence.”