Lt Gen DEMIRARSLAN was the Chief of Staff of Turkish Air Force HQ on 15 July 2016. He was at a military recreation resort with his family in Gumuldur, Izmir. After his son had been murdered in September 2013, he has refrained from attending celebrations like the wedding in Istanbul.

At the initial minutes, he called Turkish Air Force Chief Gen UNAL and asked for his directives. He received an order to swiftly go to Eskisehir where the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) is located. He immediately left the resort, drove to the nearest Cigli Airbase (AB), Izmir, where he could find a military means to fly to Eskisehir. He then directly flew from Cigli AB to Eskisehir with a military transport aircraft and took over the command of the CAOC and commanded the operations against the dissenters from there.

He was the one who ordered F-4E 2020s, located at the Eskisehir Airbase to bomb Akinci Base Runway to prevent F-16 takeoffs[1]. After the events, he was highly commended with pro-Government media for taking command and control of the Turkish Air Force and suppressing the dissenting activities[2].


A few days later, Prime Minister Binali YILDIRIM stated in an interview that during the events he asked the commander in the Eskisehir CAOC to shoot down dissenter F-16s, but the general, he talked, asked for a written directive, which fueled Prime Minister’s anger and frustration. Immediately afterward, pro-Government newspapers, Hurriyet[3], Aksam[4], Yeni Safak[5], claimed loudly the General who hesitated to obey Prime minister’s orders and asked for the written directive was Lt Gen DEMIRARSLAN.

Although YILDIRIM knew the truth was different and the General he mentioned was a different person, he kept silent and let the pro-Government media spread their slanders and lies against DEMIRARSLAN. Eventually, the General was arrested on 21 July 2016. The justification for the arrest was that he was assigned by the dissenting officers as the new Chief of Turkish Air Force.


Almost five months after his arrest, the pro-Government media finally disclosed the truth. The General, who asked a written order to shoot down F-16s, was Lt Gen Ziya KADIOGLU[6]. Very surprisingly, KADIOGLU continues his duty in Turkish Air Force without any judicial process against him while DEMIRARSLAN is still arrested on charges of leading the coup, attempting to topple down the Government and change the regime in Turkey.