Investigators discovered an archive of compromising video and audio recordings of military officers, used by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) to blackmail those in the army not loyal to the group. FETÖ is accused of masterminding July 15, 2016 putsch attempt which saw its infiltrators in the military killing 249 people in a bid to topple the government.
Searching houses and offices of defendants in the trial of a coup attempt at army's main headquarters in Ankara and sifting through digital evidence, police found secretly recorded tapes showing officers in compromising positions with women as well as other material used in blackmail. Along with documents containing information on officers blacklisted by FETÖ, the trove of digital material found in possession of a number of defendants contain instructions by Fetullah Gülen, leader of FETÖ. Authorities believe that the terrorist group managed to stifle its critics in the army by blackmail. A high-ranking general in Air Forces is among those forced to resign by FETÖ's blackmail, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported. The agency also said the terrorist group hired or recruited women caught on tapes and some compromising videos were discovered in servers of Counter-Intelligence department of Office of Chief of General Staff.
The blackmail archive was sent to the court handling the coup trial at army headquarters after forensics experts conclude analysis of digital evidence.
Investigators found a secret audio recording of a retired general in possession of Hüseyin Yıldırım, a lieutenant colonel who worked at army intelligence before he was arrested for links to FETÖ. The general in the recording whose content was not revealed was sentenced to 16 years in prison in infamous Balyoz (Sledgehammer) case and was acquitted in 2015. Balyoz, which refers to alleged coup plot by generals, was a legal case allegedly concocted by FETÖ-linked judiciary members based on forged evidence. According to its critics, Balyoz was one of the first attempts by FETÖ members to weed out those opposing terrorist group's infiltration in the army.
Compromising videos of children of a general who was also a defendant in Balyoz case, were found in possession of Maj. Yusuf Akdemir, a FETÖ suspect who worked at personnel department of Office of Chief of General Staff.