October 16, 2020 - 13:11 AMT
Turkish defector says he was ordered to kill Kurdish-Austrian politician

A Turkish intelligence operative has confessed that had been ordered to shoot a Kurdish-Austrian politician which he did not want to do. The incident happened on September 15: the man entered a police station in Vienna, identified himself as Feyyaz Ozturk, and asked for police protection, The New York Times says.

He also said that he had been forced to give false testimony used to convict an employee at the American Consulate in Istanbul.

Ozturk’s confession refers to the conviction of Metin Topuz, who worked for the U.S. State Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration in Istanbul. In June, Topuz was sentenced by a Turkish court to more than eight years in prison on charges of aiding an armed terrorist group.

When the Turkish operative turned himself in, he told the police that he was retired from a long career at the Turkish intelligence agency, known as the M.I.T., but had recently been tasked to carry out an attack on Aygul Berivan Aslan, a former Green Party lawmaker of Kurdish descent and a vocal critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In a later police interview, Ozturk also named other targets he had been given in addition to Aslan. Peter Pilz, the publisher of the online magazine ZackZack and a former Green Party lawmaker, who served on the intelligence oversight committee and is a longstanding and vocal critic of Erdogan and his treatment of the Kurdish population.