A military officer arrested for involvement in the July 15 coup attempt blamed on a junta loyal to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) has told prosecutors they shipped 20,000 bullets to Istanbul from the city of Yalova at the disposal of the coup plotters.
The captain, identified as S.M., was deployed at an air base in Yalova, south of Istanbul, when officers joining the coup attempt ordered the shipment of munitions from an arsenal inside the base to Istanbul. He told investigators that the ammunition was for the G-3, a standard automatic rifle employed by the Turkish army.
Some 246 people were killed and hundreds were injured when the public resisted the coup attempt. Pro-coup troops indiscriminately fired at unarmed crowds gathered on the streets to confront the tanks on the night of the coup, and civilians with the aid of police and officers opposing the coup, managed to fend off the putsch.
Another officer deployed at the base said in his testimony that Col. Metin Yıldırım, commander of the base who was arrested after the coup attempt was foiled, ordered the munitions to be distributed to military school cadets. Cadets played a key role in the putsch attempt, particularly in Istanbul where several major military schools are situated. They have told prosecutors that they were forced to take part in the coup by officers in the higher ranks who threatened them with death.
Col. Hüseyin Ergezen, deployed at a military school for the Turkish Air Forces, accompanied 19 military officers and more than 400 heavily-armed cadets to Istanbul from Yalova and was one of the coup commanders overseeing the takeover of public broadcaster TRT where the Peace At Home Council of coup plotters forced a TV presenter to read out a declaration of the coup on July 15.
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