In comments published by the Turkish daily Radikal on Thursday, Gofran Hicazi, wife of the late Harmush, and İbrahim Harmush, the colonel's brother, stated that in the refugee camp where Harmoush was staying, “everybody knew” about the officer's frequent trips to Harmush. In the officer's comings and goings, the family says, the MİT official allegedly convinced Harmush that he wanted to help him obtain arms and return to Syria.
“Turkey wants to help you,” Harmush was reportedly told by the unnamed officer, who Turkish authorities arrested on Feb. 12 along with four others for the abduction of the colonel and his compatriot Mustafa Kassum.
“Hussein [Harmush] could not find weapons anywhere. He couldn't even get his hands on a bullet,” Hicazi said as she explained the difficulty Harmush had in obtaining arms after escaping across the border to Turkey. The MİT officer's subsequent promise to Harmush that he would help him obtain weapons and return to Syria, his family says, seemed too good to be true. “I don't trust this man, be careful that he doesn't pull a fast one on you,” Radikal cited his wife as telling Harmush.
Harmush defected and fled to Turkey last June but returned to Syria under unclear circumstances in September. In late September, the colonel “confessed” to crimes against the Syrian government in a tape aired on Syrian national television. It is believed by Turkish authorities that the MİT officer and four other suspects accepted a bribe of $100,000 from Syrian intelligence services to repatriate Harmush. On Jan 30, the Syrian League for Human Rights reported that the regime's security forces had executed Harmush.
On Thursday, the Ankara-based Refugee Rights Commission sent an open letter to the prime minister, the president and other high members of state protesting the “unlawful nature by national and international standards” of Harmush's abduction and urged better protection of the estimated 7,500 refugees that have fled to Turkey in the wake of violence in Syria.