Details of July 15 failed coup emerge as testimonies of soldiers exposed

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 29.07.2016 00:00
Updated 29.07.2016 12:03

Amid an ongoing investigation launched into Gülenist Terror Organization FETÖ, new details about what happened on July 15 are revealed as testimonies of soldiers emerge in the media following the July 15 failed coup attempt.

Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar

Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar stated that Deputy Chief of the Turkish General Staff Yaşar Güler approached him while he was working in his office around 05:00 p.m. on July 15 and delivered the intelligence from Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MİT) about the activity with regards to stationing of three helicopters from the Army Aviation School, which was planned to take place that night. Stating that Güler also told him a delegation from MİT was on their way to discuss the intelligence, Akar said: "We took it very seriously as the Turkish General Staff. Deputy General Staff Güler, the Commander of Turkish Land Forces Salih Zeki Çolak and I began to discuss the precautions that would be taken… We examined the situation and believed that the intelligence we received might be a part of a bigger plan. Not contenting with the precautions that would be taken, I called Ankara Garrison Commander Lieutenant General Metin Gürak on the phone and ordered him to go to Etimesgut Armored Forces Division in person and take precautions to prevent any tanks and armored vehicles leaving the division. After taking primary precautions, our meeting ended."

General Akın Öztürk - Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) member

"Planes were taking off and landing as usual in the Akıncı Air Base. As there was constant activity, I did not notice anything. I called Lieutenant-General Mehmet Şanver, whose daughter was getting married and congratulated him. After a while, he called me back. He asked what was happening, since military planes were flying low. He also said that TV stations were broadcasting breaking news. Meanwhile, I was watching the latest developments on TV."

"The Commander of Turkish Air Forces was also attending the wedding. He called me and told me that the jets were flying low in Ankara. He said; 'Intervene in this situation'."

Major General Mehmet Dişli​ -Head of the General Staff's Department of Strategical Transition

"That day somebody, a private secretary, aide or a consultant, called me from my office. I do not remember who exactly called me."

"While I was headed to the office of Chief of Staff Akar, a couple of people who were wearing Special Forces uniforms and whose faces I did not recognize welcomed me. There are two offices on the way the office of Gen. Akar. One of them pulled me towards himself and said: 'The Armed Forces seized the power. 'Yurtta Sulh Cihanda Sulh Operasyonu' (Operation Peace At Home, Peace in the World) has been launched. We want the Commander (Akar) to work with us...' They told me that Akar trusted in me and I could persuade him or 'they will sack usand send us away.' They also told me that the jets were in the air, the martial law declaration had been broadcasted and all the other commanders were in it. 'We are taking the ones who are not with us. They are getting arrested,' they said. They put me in Gen. Akar's room."

Brigadier General Mehmet Partigöç​ - Head of General Staff's Department of Personnel Plan and Management

"I usually leave my office around 08:00 p.m. and on the night of the coup attempt; I was sitting in my office. I heard a noise and got out to the garden around 08:00 p.m. people were running around and yelling "practice." I warned them. I went to Colonel Cengiz who was the commander of the forces that were responsible for the security of the barracks and asked him what was going on. I warned him about preventing any friendly fire."

"As I was returning to my office, I learned that a unit head named Cemil Turan was looking for me in the entrance of the building. During our conversation on the official phone line Cemil Turan said that Deputy Chief of the Turkish General Staff Yaşar Güler's aide Major Mehmet ordered them to send a few messages. To verify the order, I went to Güler's office but he was not present. When I asked chief of cabinet Bünyamin Tuncer where Güler was, he told me that there was an uncertainty and he was extracted from the barracks. Hence, I told Turhan to carry out with the order of their commander."

"I saw Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar on the camera. He was heading to the heliport with a general and two guards. Then, I went to my own office, then, went to the office of Chief of Staff which is located on the same floor as my office. I did not get into Chief of Staff's office. I sat on the chair which is next to the chair of his aide. Chief of cabinet of Chief of Staff Ramazan Göze, aide Major Levent and I talked about the recent developments. I called Turkish Staff Operations Center from there and asked them. They told me that they were continuing to do their regular job and there had been no change. Then, I called the Akıncı Air Base around 10:00 p.m. They told me that our commander (Chief of Staff Aker) was there. I followed latter developments on the media."

Lieutenant Colonel Levent Türkkan​ - The Aide of Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar

"I learned about the coup attempt on July 14, 2016 around 10:00 o'clock. Advisor to Chief of Staff Colonel Orhan Yıkılkan said they were planning a coup and president, prime minister, ministers, Chief of Staff, force commanders and generals would be apprehended one by one. He said everything would be finished quietly and the coup attempt will take place on July 16, 2016 at 03:00 a.m.…"

"He told me that my duty was to overpower Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar and ease the process on the night of the coup. According to him, Special Forces would come and get Akar once I overpower him. I accepted the assignment given to me by Orhan Yıkılkan without questioning."

General Abidin Ünal Commander of the Turkish Air Force

"I attended the wedding ceremony of Combat Air Commander Lieutenant General Mehmet Şanver's daughter and the retired Air Commodore's son at Istanbul Deniz Kulübü as a guest. I was at the wedding hall around 07:30 p.m. Until that time, I did not feel any negativity or something out of ordinary…"

"According to my estimations, my wife called me on the phone around 09:30 p.m. and said Lieutenant General Fikret Erbilgin of Air Force was taken into custody and that she wondered what was going on. Upon this, I called Major General Cevat Yazgılı whom I left as my deputy in Ankara. While I was asking Yazgılı what happened in Ankara, I heard the sound of the jet planes. He said he had no idea but jets were flying low over Ankara."

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