From Nusra to Afrin: The portrait of a Turkish-backed jihadist revealed

The portrait of a jihadist supported by Turkey is not just an ordinary portrait. From the Grey Wolves to the Turkmen Front which killed the Russian pilot, from the Nusra Front to Afrin, it is a portrait that deciphers the organic link between the Turkish state and the gang organizations, harboured in dirty connections stretching to Afrin.


NEWS DESK - It was learned that a jihadist gang member named Recep Özacar, who was registered in the village of Golani in Gerger district of Adiyaman province of Northern Kurdistan, was killed in Afrin.

As ANHA we compiled the strange connections of the gang member, who was recently brought to his hometown at the request of his family and declared a "martyr". Recep Özacar steps foot on Syria as a member of the Turkmen Front gang group, a group closely supported by Turkey, which Ankara downed a Russian jet for in November 2015. Özacar fights in the Grey Wolves affiliated unit led by the Turkish gang commander Alparslan Çelik. After Turkey shot down the Russian jet, his unit announced in a video that they had killed the Russian pilot Oleg Peshkov. We have reached Özacar’s photos and connections from those days after an investigation we carried out.


At that time, most of the unit fighting with Özacar in the Turkmen Front returned to Turkey. There is another name from the returning unit that attracts attention other than Çelik who kills the Russian pilot. This name was frequently mentioned after the July 15 coup attempt, Fatih Kaya, the president of the paramilitary force People’s Special Operations (HÖH). After the coup attempt the Turkish media frequently mentioned that most of those who cut off the soldiers' heads and lynched them were coordinated by the Syrian Turkmen unit affiliated with HÖH, the same unit Özacar fought in Syria. The president of HÖH, Fatih Kaya, has photos with Turkish president Erdogan and has said in an interview that he had served in the Turkish military for ten years.

Fatih Kaya refers to Özacar as a "fellow fighter" in a post on his social media account following the death of the gang member named Özacar, added by photos where they are together. Another important detail of Kaya's post is that he says "Only yesterday I spoke with that beautiful smiling voice of yours." Kaya also attaches the link of the Özacar’s account in this post and when we enter the account and look at the posts, we see Özacar as a "mujahideen" in the pursuit of jihad in Idlib.


It is clearly seen in the previous social media posts of the gang member Özacar that he has Al-Qaeda’s Syrian wing, Al-Nusra. Declared a terrorist organization by Turkey, yet acting in conjunction with the Turkish army in Idlib, Al-Nusra’s connection with Ankara is clearly shown.

One person who shares many messages in support of the AKP and MHP says the gang member named Özacar was a Grey Wolf and Nusra member at the same time. Özacar, who is seen posing in photos with the Grey Wolves symbol, Turkish military uniform and Turkish flags, this time comes across us posing with the jihad symbol with his grown beard in Idlib.


Özacar, who remained inside Nusra gangs in Idlib for a long period of time, says the following in a post on March 11: "My lion cub brothers struggling in the Afrin campaign, I am honoured to share the same case and martyrdom with you. I impatiently await the day I’ll inshallah be with you. Allah is with us. I love you all so much, we may die but we won’t stop Allahu Akbar."

Calling the gangs who pillaged and looted Afrin "lion cubs", Özacar says "I impatiently await for the day I’ll be with you." It was said that Özacar was killed in Afrin on March 30.

Those close to Özacar announced that the gang member was killed in Afrin with the following words: "Recep Özacar, who was registered in the village of Gerger Golani, was martyrdom in Afrin while he was jihading in the ranks of the Free Syrian Army. The body of Recep Özacar, who had been jihading for a long time in the Free Syrian Army, was brought to Gerger to be buried in the Golan village of Gerger from Hatay upon the request of his family. We express our condolences to his woeful family, may Allah rest his soul."

President of the now-defunct HÖH paramilitary group, Fatih Kaya, declares Özacar as a "martyr" and expresses his condolences.

On the other hand, a photograph of a person named Evren Kaya, who has a photo with the leader of the MHP party, Devlet Bahçeli, brings attention to a video shared about Özacar one month ago. Indicating in his bio that he works in the Turkey Football Federation and as a politician affiliated to MHP, he shares a video footage with Özacar next to jihadists and says: "My dear friend of common cause, esteemed Mujahid Recep Özacar before fought in the Turkmen mountain, now they are giving a big fight in Idlib. They are fighting for the Almighty Turkish Nation, for Allah's sake let’s help these heroes, everyone do as much as they can, whatever it is! You can write to me or Mr. Recep Özacar in private and deposit money to the account number. There’s no you there’s us. We are a big family together we are the Almighty Turkish Nation!"

The gang member Özacar says they are in need of support alongside foreign jihadists in the video and calls for support from Kaya.


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