In his hearing yesterday, Levent Türkkan, the aide of Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, denied his role in the top general's abduction during the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Türkkan, who had initially given a lucid account of his ties to the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) after his arrest, changed his testimony at a hearing in Ankara and claimed he was "dreaming" when he first testified.
Türkkan is among the 221 defendants on trial for the takeover of the Chief of General Staff's office. Gen. Akar told investigators that it was his aide, Türkkan, who told him not to resist putschists tying him down during his abduction.
"Türkkan shouted at me not to leave my seat when [pro-coup] soldiers entered my room," Akar told authorities after he was released by his captors in the early hours of July 16 when the coup attempt failed.
The officer said in his first testimony that he was recruited by FETÖ at a military school and did what he was instructed to do by senior figures of the terrorist group, including wiretapping army chiefs he worked for, from Necdet Özel to Hulusi Akar.
However, in a sudden change of events he withdrew his initial testimony. In yesterday's hearing, he said it was like "living in a dream" while talking about what happened during the coup attempt.
"I think they made me drink something," he said when asked about his earlier testimony. "I can't believe what I testified," Türkkan said.
He claimed he was not a member of FETÖ and spent the coup night in his room in the army headquarters.
"Gen. Mehmet Dişli [another jailed pro-coup officer who relayed the message of the putschists to Akar first] entered Akar's room and then, Special Forces soldiers came. They told me that they were sent to ‘evacuate' the commander for his own safety," Türkkan told the court.
He said he did not help the captors and he never "mingled" with the putschists.
When questioned by the plaintiffs' lawyers, Türkkan said he did not "feel it was necessary to call anyone" after Akar left the headquarters. The army chief was taken to Akıncı Air Base, the command center of the putschists, by Dişli and Special Forces soldiers.
Along with other top military brass, Akar was held hostage there throughout the coup attempt that killed 249 people. Upon a strong public resistance, the putschists surrendered in the early hours of July 16. Türkkan said he sat in a room throughout the night of the coup and "did nothing."
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