Ergenekon has links to outlaws, says jailed head .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} ANKARA - Sakık, who has spent the last 11 years in prison, tells Parliament's Human Rights Commission that the alleged Ergenekon gang has links to groups like the PKK, Hizbullah and the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front

A former leader of the terrorist PKK organization, has claimed a criminal network exists between the alleged Ergenekon gang, PKK, Hizbullah and the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front, or DHKP/C.

"There are tribal and gang leaders from the Southeast region within Ergenekon. They will be unveiled soon," former PKK leader and confessor, Şemdin Sakık, who has been in prison for 11 years, told the members of Parliament’s Human Rights Committee. The committee met with Sakık as part of an investigative study on the conditions of Diyarbakır’s prisons.

According to the committee’s report, which was acquired by the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review, Sakık said the leader of the Workers’ Party, or İP, Doğu Perinçek, who is currently in custody in the Ergenekon case, had stayed in the prison with PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan for a few days.

"Professor Yalçın Küçük stayed with Perinçek for months," Sakık said. Küçük was detained within the Ergenekon case but later released. A so-called supporter of Turkish nationalism and a so-called supporter of Kurdish nationalism stayed in the same cell for months, said Sakık. Sakık also said Küçük delivered lectures in Beqaa, a valley in eastern Lebanon where the PKK has camps.

Küçük had confirmed his visit to Beqaa during his inquiry in the Ergenekon investigation. "I went there to get data on the PKK for my scientific studies," Küçük said, adding that he already released his observations on Beqaa in his book.

"PKK backed by other countries"
During the interview with the Human Rights Committee, Sakık also pointed to foreign support of the PKK. "The PKK was born in Ankara, found supporters in the Southeast and gained ground in Syria. Armenia, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Greece have used the PKK. Iran gave a truck full of weapons to the organization in the spring of 1993," he said.

He said following the PKK’s cease-fire announcement in 1993, Iran took those weapons back, claiming the weapons were given to the PKK for fighting. "Greece gave a Stinger missile to the organization," the report also quoted Sakık.

"Although the PKK is supported by foreign powers, it was born in Turkey. Its roots are in Turkey," Sakık said.

In relation to the conditions of the prison, Sakık complained about his loneliness in the prison cell. "I wanted a friend but it was rejected. I cannot stay with political prisoners in the same cell on the grounds that I left the PKK," he said.

Sakık also said his letters were examined for a month by the prison administration and that the administration tried to remove the 42nd part of the book he wrote because of "inconvenient" elements.

Besides Sakık’s complaints and statements as a confessor, the committee’s report also included views of other inmates about the conditions of Diyarbakır prisons.

"Political female prisoners said they cannot participate in sports due to security reasons and that they receive unfair disciplinary punishments on the grounds that they make too much noise while they are entertaining each other," the report read.

In the report, maltreatment allegations against child prisoners were stated as well. A child, who was detained during the incidents in the Cizre district of Şırnak last year, said the Gendarmerie beat and insulted them while they were being transferred to the prison in Diyarbakır. The report also defined the physical conditions of the prison cells for child detainees as "insufficient."

The former PKK members said they were pleased they could watch the state-broadcast Kurdish channel, TRT 6. "However, even if it is legal, we cannot buy the Kurdish newspaper Welat," the report quoted inmates as saying.

The committee’s report said detainees and inmates should be informed of their legal rights in detail. Pointing out that the number of prisoners surpassed the capacity of the Diyarbakır prison with E-level security, the report said the situation was "unacceptable in terms of humanitarian living standards." Although the capacity is 744 people, there are currently around 1,400 inmates and detainees in the prison.

According to the report, 1,000 prisoners attend literacy courses, 115 prisoners continue distance learning and 251 prisoners are pursuing two-year undergraduate degrees in Diyarbakır D-level prison. The prison also supplies English, computer, painting, math and chess courses, which are currently attended by 406 prisoners.