İYİ Party mayor names roundabout after late crime leader Abdullah Çatlı

The Nevşehir Municipality run by the nationalist İYİ Party has renamed a roundabout in the city center after crime organization leader Abdullah Çatlı. Former leader of the nationalist “Grey Wolves,” the late Çatlı’s name comes up in multiple assassinations and deep-state connections.

Çatlı's brother kisses Nevşehir's nationalist mayor on the forehead, thanking him for honoring Abdullah Çatlı.

Duvar English

The nationalist İYİ (Good) Party-led Nevşehir Municipality in central Turkey on June 6 renamed an intersection after Abdullah Çatlı, a notorious organized crime leader who died in the 1996 Susurluk Incident.

Mayor Rasim Arı announced the decision to the public, stating, "After 28 years, the city council members have demonstrated how they stand by their own,” referring to Çatlı who was born in the province in 1956. 

Arı continued, “Nothing will be the same in this city. Everyone will learn to respect the elected mayor. Those who cannot learn will be taught by me and the people of Nevşehir."

Zeki Çatlı, the brother of Abdullah Çatlı, thanked Mayor Arı for the tribute and kissed him on the forehead as he attended a launch meeting in Nevşehir.

Çatlı also announced the news on his social media, saying the İYİ Party municipality under Arı “bravely achieved what many past administrations could not do,” and named the intersection after a “hero.”

Çatlı continued, “Mayor Arı paid respect to the heroes of Nevşehir, and dared to stand against many traitors of the nation to honor them,” referring to figures who bring up Çatlı’s well-documented history as an agent of the deep state who took part in the assassinations of many oppositional figures. 

Çatlı, Susurluk Scandal, and the Deep State

The Susurluk Scandal erupted with a car crash on Nov. 3, 1996, in the northwestern province of Balıkesir. It revealed the close relationship between the Turkish government, security forces, and organized crime centered around then-interior Minister and former police chief Mehmet Ağar.

Among the casualties was Abdullah Çatlı, a far-right deep state agent who was responsible for countless crimes and murders of leftists and who was supposedly sought by authorities. A deputy and a police chief were also in the car.

The documents in the car showed Çatlı was protected by Ağar, who provided the criminal with a fake ID and a gun. There were also weapons to be used in assassinations belonging to police in the car that was recorded as "missing" in the state inventory, adding to the scandal.

The trial into the Susurluk scandal began in 1997. The court gave prison sentences to 10 defendants in 2001. Ağar was sentenced to five years after his legislative immunity dropped in 2011. The former minister spent only a year in a special cell built for him and got out in line with a legal bill in 2012. 

Former leader of İYİ Party Meral Akşener drew criticism as she deemed the political assassinations of her past "courageous." Akşener was Ağar's successor as Interior Minister, whose seven-month run saw many forced disappearances and assassinations.