Businessman intending to kill Mehmet Ağar
I am in the attorney visitation room of Silivri Prison. Turkey's most notorious political trial defendants are lined up, talking to their lawyers. Everyone in the separated glass compartments can see each other.
My attorney drew my attention to Mübariz Mansimov, who was sitting beside me. Journalism is deaf to time and place; we sent questions through our attorneys. We aimed to reveal the backstory of his imprisonment in Turkey. However, despite our insistence, he did not respond. He didn't want to speak until he was free. We left the prison. The interview with Mansimov, which we couldn’t get, was conducted by Furkan Karabay. This is the delightful aspect of journalism; you sometimes miss out on news.
Mansimov, like a drop containing the ocean's secret, was both a witness and a part of the recent decay in Turkey's history. There were very few accusations, politicians, or dark networks he wasn't associated with. Portraying such a person was like depicting a photograph of the entire country.
As you know, Furkan was released after a short period of detention. Of course, the days he was unjustly deprived of should be accounted for in a fair system.
Furkan's freedom coincided with the release days of his first love, the book "Gurban." If he had not been freed, his journalist friends would have organized a signing day on his behalf. Now, the author will meet his readers in person.
The book narrates the life of Azerbaijani businessman Mübariz Mansimov Gurbanoğlu, worthy of a film script. Flipping through its pages, I see Mehmet Ağar's name many times. Surprising? Not at all.
Mansimov and Ağar shared a common connection with Haydar Aliyev. Indeed, Aliyev's funeral in 2003 brought the two together.
Back in those days, Mansimov was at a hotel in Baku with former MHP member Saffet Sancaklı. They told him someone wanted to meet him. It was Mehmet Ağar. The first time they shook hands, Sancaklı and other businessmen were present.
The two names had worked in coordination with the Azerbaijani state energy company SOCAR for years. However, eventually, Mansimov's own company, Palmali, began to surpass SOCAR and even made it to the list of the world's richest 500 people. There were those in Azerbaijan who saw him as a "national hero." It is said that both SOCAR and Ilham Aliyev were financially and politically disturbed by this situation. This led to the downfall of Mansimov's empire. His marina, hotel, and freedom were taken from him. According to the book, all these "disasters" that befell Mansimov were orchestrated by Aliyev and his close associate in Turkey, Mehmet Ağar.
'I WOULD HAVE SHOT HIM IF I WERE THERE'
A detail in the book, previously unknown to me, caught my attention. It concerned a claim about what Ağar allegedly said to Mansimov's wife:
"(...) Mansimov was always aware that he was being watched. He knew that the slightest slip would be exploited. He went through several issues from 2016 onwards, during his downfall. But what infuriated him the most wasn’t his employees siding with the opposition, nor the lawsuits with SOCAR or Lukoil. It was the dialogue Ağar had with his wife that gnawed at him internally. He thought about killing Ağar. He even said, 'If I had been there, I would have shot him.' What enraged Mansimov so much was the allegation that Ağar had blocked his wife's way with a car.
Mansimov described the incident, 'We are Turks, what does it mean to block a lady's way? And right in front of our house. Honestly, if I were there, I would have shot and killed him.' On the other hand, it was also claimed that during this incident in the summer, Ağar said to Mansimov's wife, 'Wait and see what will happen to him.' This incident with Ağar occurred a few months before the FETÖ investigation was launched. (...)"
Journalists are advised to 'follow the money' to find the truth. Furkan followed it in the book "Gurban" and wrote about it. You might feel nauseated, frightened, or angry when you read it. Just don’t become desensitized and forget what you should know. Memory is needed to cleanse from dirt.
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