Levent Ersöz (born 19 April 1954) is a former Turkish general in the Turkish Gendarmerie, who was head of the Gendarmerie's JITEM intelligence department.[2] He was considered a key defendant in the Ergenekon trials, and on 5 August 2013 was sentenced to 22 years and six months.[3][4] A trial charging Ersöz with the death of Turkish President Turgut Özal in 1993 began in September 2013.[5]

Levent Ersöz
Personal details
Born19 April 1954[1]
Military service
AllegianceTurkey
Branch/serviceTurkish Army
Years of service1974-2009
RankGeneral
UnitArmy Aviation

Prosecutors have accused Ersöz of being behind the 2001 assassination of Diyarbakır Police Chief Gaffar Okkan and a 2006 attack on Faruk Çelik,[6] and of having had a role in the 1993 death of President Turgut Özal.[7] The prosecution has shown a video of Ersöz talking to Bedrettin Dalan in 2004, saying "You are number three. Why don't you go out and talk like you're number one."[8] Police searching Ersöz' home had found nearly 2500 recordings of conversations.[8] A witness to the Ergenekon trials testified that Ersöz had had frequent contact with PKK commander Cemil Bayık.[9]

Prosecutors have charged a hitman with a December 2009 attempt on Ersöz' life, describing it as an attempt to silence Ersöz.[10] Shots were fired into the ceiling during a confrontation between the would-be assassin and gendarmes guarding Ersöz' room.[11]

A suspect in the Ergenekon trials told prosecutors that Ersöz was his instructor in TUSHAD.[12]

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