Ergin said 15 suspects are currently still being sought around the world on an Interpol red notice and noted that claims about Erçakmak's possible death were currently being investigated by the Sivas Prosecutor's Office. He said the red notice for the arrest of Erçakmak will remain in effect until his death can be confirmed.
On July 2, 1993, a mob, enraged by the presence of atheist writer Aziz Nesin in their city, attacked the Madımak Hotel in Sivas, where a group of Alevi intellectuals, writers and artists visiting the city along with Nesin for a festival were staying. The group set the hotel on fire, killing 35 of those trapped inside.
Other suspects for whom international arrest warrants have been issued are Ethem Ceylan Murat Sonkur, Ömer Demir, Adem Ağbektaş, Mehmet Yılmaz, Sedat Yıldırım, Adem Bayrak, Eren Ceylan, Alim Özhan, Hayrettin Yeğin, Süleyman Toksun, Harun Kavak, Metin Ceylan, some of whom are known to be in Germany. Turkey is working to ensure their extradition, the minister said.
Ergin also offered a recap of the judicial process regarding the massacre of July 1993. One-hundred-thirty suspects have so far been tried at the Ankara State Security Court (DGM). Thirty-three suspects were given aggravated life sentences, 43 were given jail terms of varying lengths and 39 were acquitted, he said. He said, however, following the adoption of the new penal code, the aggravated life sentences of the 33 people were commuted to life sentences.
He further stated that the ongoing trials of the suspects who could not be found are being heard in absentia by the Ankara 11th High Criminal Court.