Officer released in coup trial caught in FETÖ safe house

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

Police storming a safe house occupied by members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) were in for a surprise when they found out that one of the men there was a military officer previously acquitted in a trial over the 2016 coup attempt.

In his testimony released yesterday, Kenan Şahin, who was detained in operations against safe houses in the central city of Konya, said it was only a coincidence. He claimed he was there "to set up a TV set he sold to one of the men in the house." Şahin was among 31 military officers tried in Konya for the 2016 coup attempt which is blamed on military infiltrators of FETÖ. He was released on May 31 of this year, ten days later he and two other suspects bearing fake IDs were apprehended in one of FETÖ's so-called "absence houses" in Selçuklu. "Absence houses" are used by the group to hide its fugitive members, either permanently or before their escape abroad.

Şahin told interrogators that he met one of the two other suspects in the safe house when the latter came to a secondhand furniture shop he was in. He claimed he was there to sell his TV set and when the suspect decided to buy it, they went together to the house. "I was helping install the TV when police entered. I don't know these people. I didn't know they were FETÖ members," Şahin claimed, saying it was "purely a coincidence" that he was in the house during the police raid.

The former military intelligence officer, who was off duty during the coup attempt, had told the court in the coup trial that he went to the military base on July 15, 2016 "merely to pick up his books" and pleaded not guilty to coup charges.

FETÖ is accused of carrying out the coup attempt that killed 250 people, through its infiltrators in the military, controlled by the group's civilian point men. Tens of thousands of people were detained or arrested for their links to FETÖ and their role in the putsch attempt. Hundreds were sentenced to life and hundreds of others, mostly conscripts and cadets, were released in the coup attempt trial.

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