Authorities detained a military officer after his initial release following the July 15 coup attempt as it was discovered that an armed civilian helping coup plotters to take over army headquarters in Ankara was him.
Major Gökhan Balcı, deployed in the northwestern city of Tekirdağ, was in the Turkish capital during the coup attempt that is blamed on a junta loyal to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). He was detained by police at a checkpoint in Ankara on July 15 but was released with judicial control after he told authorities he did not leave his home in Ankara that night and returned to his post in Tekirdağ. Authorities examining security camera footage at the headquarters of the Chief of Staff identified him as the man in civilian clothing who opened fire on the public trying to force their way into the headquarters to stop pro-coup troops. He was detained again and authorities said Balcı's brother, a non-commissioned officer, was also among coup troops in Akıncı Air Base where a Gülenist junta commanded the airstrikes on the night of the putsch attempt.
Balcı was first caught on camera past midnight, walking around the headquarters without a gun. A few hours later, he emerges at the entrance of the headquarters wielding an automatic rifle. Accompanying fellow officers, he opens fire on the crowd advancing to the entrance.
Although those who joined the coup attempt were largely on-duty military officers, several figures linked to FETÖ, instructed by the group's point men, were found taking parts in the putsch attempt including two former police officers who were in hiding after arrest warrants were issued for them for their FETÖ membership. Lokman Kırcılı and Gürsel Aktepe, two former police chiefs, were detained near police intelligence headquarters in Ankara after they arrived with guns to help the coup plotters. Mithat Aynacı, another former police chief with links to the terrorist group, was found in a tank of pro-coup troops, complete in military fatigues, as they tried to seize police headquarters in Istanbul.
Investigators have discovered a message sent to fellow Gülenists by a senior FETÖ member who ordered Gülenists in law enforcement to "help troops." "Stop what you do and help the soldiers. Inform everyone and tell them to get their guns and go to army headquarters (in Ankara). Whoever is available should go to army headquarters, police headquarters, and anti-terror police headquarters. Shoot anyone resisting the coup and help the troops," the message sent to a former police chief arrested during the coup attempt reads.
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