World Bulletin / News Desk
A large number of weapons and other munitions have been found in a warehouse close to a gendarmerie unit in the Aktütün area of Şemdinli, eastern Hakkari, which were not registered in the Turkish Armed Forces' (TSK) inventory, according to the Sabah daily.
The daily, however, did not specify by whom the munitions were found. It was unclear whether the police launched an operation or officers at the command discovered the munitions themselves.
The munitions were discovered on Oct. 19, 2010, but the discovery made its way to the press only on Monday.
Among the munitions found were 18 Kalashnikov rifles, three infantry rifles, one rocket launcher, bayonets, cartridges and shells for Kalashnikov rifles, cartridges for infantry rifles and 273 sticks of gelignite.
Only one day after the discovery of the munitions, military officers at the 21st Border Brigade Command launched an investigation.
The investigation showed that the weapons and munitions were not registered in the TSK inventory. The command later forwarded the investigation to the Van Military Prosecutor's Office. The prosecutor's office is now working to find out if any of the weapons were used in an illegal act.
The prosecutor is focused on a suspected link between the unregistered weapons and an attack at the business place of a neighborhood head in Şemdinli on Feb. 16, 2010.
There are also claims that the weapons were used in unsolved murders in the eastern and southeastern parts of Turkey in the 1990s. Turkey's recent history is full of the murders of thousands of people who disappeared in the '90s in the Kurdish-dominated Southeast and some eastern cities of the country. According to records from the Diyarbakır Chief Prosecutor's Office, 9,719 cases from 1988 until the present day remain unsolved. The majority of the unsolved murder cases -- 4,521 cases -- occurred between 1992 and 1994.
Aktütün is better known for a terrorist attack that killed 17 soldiers on Oct. 3, 2008. A news report that emerged around 10 days after the attack claimed that intelligence reports had been sent to all relevant military units about the plans for the attack a month earlier. The daily also published documents showing that intelligence warnings had been sent -- one five days, and another one day, before the attack. The newspaper also reported that Heron unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) started taking images of the area three hours before the attack occurred.
The General Staff posted a statement about the munitions on its website on Monday in which it confirmed the discovery. The statement read that an ongoing investigation is focused on finding out if the munitions were used in any past incident.