Kılıçdaroğlu’s former advisor arrested over allegedly helping suspect flee in Ayhan Bora Kaplan case

Turkish authorities have arrested previous CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s former advisor Ramazan Kubat over allegedly helping suspect Serdar Sertçelik flee Turkey in the Ayhan Bora Kaplan case. Kubat, who is also a former MHP executive, became Kılıçdaroğlu’s advisor in 2022.

Duvar English

A Turkish court has arrested Ramazan Kubat, former advisor of previous Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, over alleged connection to the Ayhan Bora Kaplan case, journalist Alican Uludağ reported.

Accordingly, Kubat allegedly helped Serdar Sertçelik flee Turkey when he was under house arrest. Sertçelik is a suspect and secret witness in the Ayhan Bora Kaplan case. 

Kubat, who is also former Ankara head of the government-ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), became Kılıçdaroğlu’s advisor in 2022. 

Kılıçdaroğlu drew criticism for appointing “right-wing” advisors before the 2023 presidential election, in which he lost against Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Kubat’s lawyer Burcu Aslan told journalist İsmail Saymaz on May 21 that Kubat did not know Sertçelik at the time of the incident, and that Kubat was set up by Mustafa Çotuk for fleeing Sertçelik. Çotuk is another suspect in the case. 

Kaplan was arrested on charges of leading an organized crime group shortly after his attempt to leave the country was thwarted in September. The crime syndicate reportedly was close to former Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and the organization became stronger during his term.

The case is seen as a rift between Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya on the one hand, and the government ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and former Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on the other.

Yerlikaya's camp claims that the investigation is targeting criminal organizations and people linked to them.

Some high-ranking police officers have been arrested for involving in the syndicate, some for being in charge of the Ayhan Bora Kaplan operation.

Some other high-ranking officers have been arrested after being in-charge of the Ayhan Bora Kaplan operation. 

Sertçelik, who was accused of being the crime syndicate’s executive, was able to flee Turkey while being under house arrest. He told journalist Erk Acarer that some police officers helped him to escape. 

He also claimed that the Ankara Security Directorate had carried out a “coup attempt against the AKP” with the operation against Ayhan Bora Kaplan.