ISIS 'media minister' owned three companies in Turkey, records show

According to the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (İTO), Ömer Yetek, a senior ISIS operative responsible for the jihadists' media wing owned and operated three companies in Turkey prior to joining ISIS. He continued to conduct business in Turkey even after he joined the group.

Duvar English 

A senior ISIS operative dubbed the jihadists' 'media minister' had three companies in Turkey before joining the group, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (İTO) documents showed. 

According to the documents, Yetek, who was tried over recording and sharing the burning of two Turkish soldiers by ISIS, continued to conduct business in Turkey after he joined the group, ANKA news agency reported. 

Yetek was captured in 2018 by Turkish authorities and confessed to his role in ISIS. He also revealed to authorities the military structure of the group, as well as the names of ISIS militants who carried out attacks, including those in Turkey. He joined the extremist organization in 2014 by crossing the border from Turkey. 

The newly discovered documents reveal that after he was captured, Yetek misled authorities as to the scope of his commercial activities in Turkey. In a statement made to the Turkish anti-terrorism directorate in 2018, Yetek said that he ran a single company in Turkey with his business partner, Fadli Şipallı. He said that the two founded a plastic bag manufacturing company in 2006 in Sultanbeyli, Istanbul, with a principal of 30,000 TL. 

This was untrue: while Yetek and Şipallı did work together, they did much more than plastic bag manufacturing. Yetek had three companies in Turkey, the first of which he founded in 2002. The company he mentioned in his statement to the anti-terrorism directorate is Sena Grup Plastik, founded on June 13, 2006. The company was, indeed, founded with a principal of 30,000 TL, half of which belonged to Yetek and half of which belonged to Şipallı. According to İTO records, the company was responsible for the “manufacture, import, and export of all kinds of rubber and plastic” as well as the production of goods composed of plastic. This company closed in on November 9, 2014, approximately three months before Yetek joined ISIS.

The first company Yetek founded, however, began operating in 2002 and remained operational approximately one month into his membership in ISIS. Yetek founded CM Plastics with Şipallı on March 26, 2002, and registered it with a 10,000 Lira principal as a company responsible for the “manufacture of all kinds and types of plastic products; for domestic trade, import, and export; and other works” written in the company charter. The company charter was finalized in June 2004, two years before Yetek told authorities he had opened his first company in Turkey.  

Yetek’s third company, AKSA Plastic Domestic and International Trade Industry, was founded with a principal of 10,000 lira - 9,000 of this belonged to Yetek, while 1,000 belonged to Şipallı. This company, according to ITO records, was also responsible for “manufacturing, importing, and exporting all kinds of products and materials made of rubber and plastic.”

Yetek remained under arrest for two years in Turkey after his capture in 2018. It was discovered in September 2021 that he had been released in April 2020, despite the gravity of his crime. 

As a result of his statement to Turkish authorities, Yetek is seen as a traitor by Salafist groups still operating in the region. In this statement, he not only revealed critical details about ISIS’ operating structure but also about planned attacks in Turkey. According to Yetek, ISIS was planning attacks on Bodrum, İzmir, and Aydın in Turkey’s Aegean region. He also revealed the name of the ISIS militant, Ebu Zeynep Halebi, who ordered three major attacks in Turkey in 2015: the Ankara train station attack on Oct. 10, 2015, the Gaziantep wedding attack on Aug. 20, 2016 and the Suruç attack on July 20, 2015.