Kucuk's security company still active

A security company belonging to retired Gen. Veli Kucuk, a prime suspect in the trial against the Ergenekon terrorist group, is still running.

The website of the company, Strategic Security Protection and Training Inc., was closed following the launch of the investigation into Ergenekon in 2007 and sources had said the company would also be shut down. Six years since the launch of the investigation, the company is still running and its administrators say the company will continue growing.

Kucuk was arrested and sent to jail pending trial in 2008 as part of the probe into Ergenekon, a clandestine criminal network accused of working to overthrow the government. A prosecutor in the case is seeking life imprisonment for the retired general.

In the course of the Ergenekon investigation, prosecutors obtained evidence that suggested Kucuk had established the security company to provide for prominent figures in society, including deputies, bureaucrats, businessmen and artists, and in this way, to develop close ties with those figures. Kucuk also hoped to gather personal and private information about those figures.

Today's Zaman contacted the Trabzon department chairman of Strategic Security Protection and Training Inc., Hasan Kalkan, to ask about the company's activities. Kalkan said the company continues to provide security services to its clients. “Our protection and training activities continue. And we are growing rapidly,” Kalkan said.

The company also has branches in Bursa and Eskisehir.

When questioned about his company and its activities by prosecutors in the Ergenekon investigation, Kucuk said he retired from his military post in 2000 and opened the private security company in 2003 along with three other partners. Prosecutors had previously obtained documents as part of the investigation that suggested that private security companies would be established by members of Ergenekon and that those companies would “serve as an armed power” for the terrorist group.