Upon orders from the Diyarbakır Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Diyarbakır police launched an operation called “Testere” (saw) to apprehend those responsible for the sabotage. After a three-week pursuit the police captured 17 suspects, among whom were three members of the Turkish Telecommunication Workers Union (Türkiye Haber-İş) who had come from Batman to Diyarbakır for a demonstration.
The suspects revealed that the sabotage was aimed at the 2nd Tactical Air Force Command’s communication lines. According to an agreement between Turkey and the US, actionable intelligence provided by the US was to be transferred to the 7th Corps Command, which was in charge of the coordination of troops in the region. Then the command center was going to inform the teams at the border about their targets.
It was discovered that the members of the sabotage team, which also included executives from Türkiye Haber-İş, cut the lines of the special network called TAFİKS that provides the communication for the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). Because of the resulting communication gap the F-16s, which were providing air support for the operation against the PKK, were unable to land at the Diyarbakır military airport. In addition, the soldiers in the region also had communication difficulties.
After the sabotage, the 2nd Tactical Air Force commander, Maj. Gen. Rasim Aslan, visited Diyarbakır Police Chief Zeki Çatalkaya to inform him of the situation. When Diyarbakır Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu stepped in, the communication lines were repaired and the danger averted successfully.
The 17 suspects were sent to court after getting a clean bill of health. The police took strict precautions around the Diyarbakır courthouse, while members of Haber-İş waited in front of the building.
Haber-İş will begin paying YTL 1,000 to each of the Türk Telekom workers who are on strike beginning today. The Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Türk-İş) has almost completed preparations for the payments.
Türk-İş has allocated YTL 25 million for the payments as Haber-İş requested. Haber-İş will be given the money before making the first payments. Depending on their residential addresses, some workers will receive their first payment as of Friday.