Man in army HQ new evidence of Gülenist role in attempted coup

Published 26.08.2016 00:00

While Washington pushes Ankara for more evidence of the involvement of the Gülenist Terror Group in the attempted coup, a new video shows that a cult member in civilian clothes was among the coup soldiers who entered army headquarters on July 15.

Mehmet Akçara, reportedly a friend of Adil Öksüz, the prime non-military suspect in the terrorist cult's purported plot, was among the coup-supporting uniformed officers who took army commanders hostage on July 15. The video, which surfaced earlier this week, shows Akçara wielding a pistol while pro-coup troops handcuff army commanders and punch them.

Akçara was a civilian lecturer at a military school, a graduate from Sakarya University, where Adil Öksüz was a professor, and Sabah newspaper reported that the two often met on campus, even though Öksüz was in the Faculty of Theology and Akçara was a student in the Department of Turkish Language and Literature. Sabah reported that Akçara was tasked by the terrorist cult with recruiting students, and would attend meetings with Öksüz and other Gülenist figures. Akçara's former friends told Turkish media that he also served as deputy manager in a dormitory for university students run by Gülenists.

It remains unclear as to what his role was in the capture of the army headquarters in the capital Ankara, where officers with links to the Gülenist terror cult rounded up those who opposed their coup attempt, but authorities suspect he might have been a point man for senior figures of the terror group who guided the coup plotters.

Adil Öksüz was found at Akıncı air base, where commanders in the army headquarters were brought to on the night of July 15 by coup plotters, and released under judicial control in a controversial verdict by a local court following the coup attempt. Öksüz was among several other civilians on the same base during the attempted coup, including the owner of a Gülenist-run school. Öksüz is accused of being the "air force imam" for the terror group, and relaying orders from cult leader Fethullah Gülen to the coup-participating troops.

Fethullah Gülen currently resides in a compound owned by a foundation with links to his terrorist cult in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania.

Turkey seeks Gülen's extradition, charged with supporting the coup as well as charges related to previous cases ranging from two earlier coup attempts in 2013, including illegal wiretapping, money laundering and several terrorism-related charges. Washington's perceived reluctance to extradite Gülen, indicating that the extradition process might be prolonged, has been met with public outrage in Turkey. Polls show anger towards the United States, perceived as harboring a most-wanted terrorist cult leader. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited Ankara on Tuesday and said Gülen's extradition depends on verdicts which could only be issued by U.S. courts, as the judicial branch in America is strictly independent of the executive branch, requiring firm evidence. Biden said an executive decision to extradite Gülen would be unconstitutional and would be an impeachable offense for a U.S. president. A delegation from the U.S. Justice Department visited Turkey last week to discuss how to proceed with Turkey's extradition request. Ankara says "boxes" of files were delivered to the United States, which justify Gülen's extradition.

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