Indictment reveals role of police with FETÖ affiliation in coup attempt
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULOct 24, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Oct 24, 2016 12:00 am
July 15 coup attempt was mainly the work of a Gülenist junta within the army but members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) also played a role in helping pro-coup troops to stifle resistance to the putsch. An indictment against 29 officers linked to FETÖ prepared by prosecutors in Istanbul shows details about police's actions before and during the coup attempt.
According to a report on the indictment in the Akşam newspaper, defendants who face multiple lifetime imprisonment sentences for the coup attempt disobeyed orders to stop the coup plotters and some even cheered it, the indictment says. Mehmet Kurt, who headed an aerial division of the Istanbul police, and two other officers were tasked with transporting an elite police squad for the protection of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and taking them and Erdoğan to his presidential residence in Istanbul on the night of the coup attempt. The trio opposed their superiors, claiming coup plotters would "hang them" if they transported the squad. Police chief Şahin U., who commanded a police station in the Gazi district of Istanbul, ordered his subordinates to surrender to coup troops and never fire at them, according to the indictment.
A search of the cellphone of Muhammet I., a police officer linked to FETÖ, found a message reading, "We've got news from the United States, there will be a coup against Erdoğan." United States refers to residence of Fethullah Gülen, leader of the terror cult.
İshak E., another police officer, wrote in a WhatsApp group of fellow FETÖ members that everyone should "prepare military fatigues." "We will be soldiers tomorrow," he wrote one day before the coup attempt.
Another defendant is accused of concealing orders by a police chief not to surrender to pro-coup troops and ordering his subordinates to obey the orders of troops linked to FETÖ.
Law enforcement, civilians and majority of the army members actively resisted the coup attempt on July 15 but FETÖ is known to have a wide clout in the National Police Department. Since the previous coup attempts in 2013, Ankara has dismissed hundreds of police officers for links to the terrorist group. The extent of the police's role in the coup attempt is not known, but Mithat Aynacı, a former police chief, made headlines after he emerged in full military fatigues from a tank stopped by public. Aynacı, who left the force after a crackdown on Gülenist infiltrators in the law enforcement, was captured by his former colleagues as he accompanied pro-coup troops to capture police headquarters on Istanbul's Vatan Avenue on July 15.