Dissenters on bridge, TRT, and CNN. Generals at wedding!
- Gen COLAK was forcibly transferred by helicopter to 4th Main Jet Base located at Akinci roughly 40 km northwest of Ankara.
- Chief of Air Force Gen UNAL called Gen OZTURK from Istanbul and requested him to proceed to Akinci Base, investigate the situation and prevent the F-16 flights over Ankara. OZTURK was at that moment in his daughter’s house, located in the military housing on the base.
- Although OZTURK complied with UNAL’s request, the pro-ERDOGAN media later portrayed OZTURK as the leader of the coup and the highest ranking Gulenist in the Military.
- Maj Gen AKSAKALLI called a division commander in Adana and told him that İncirlik Airbase was critical and warned him to keep a close eye on the base.
- AKSAKALLI had information about the activities of the dissenters before.
- Gen AKAR was flown by helicopter to 4th Main Jet Base, 40 km northwest of Ankara. He was not handcuffed.
- According to AKAR’s testimony, immediately after his arrival, he asked the dissenting generals if Gen Akin OZTURK was supporting them. The response was negative. AKAR asked them to invite OZTURK to his location.
- On Gen UNAL’s previous request and Gen AKAR’s invitation, Gen OZTURK went to Akinci Base Commander’s office. He was in casual dress. According to his testimony, he saw that three dissenting generals were desperately trying to convince Gen AKAR to take their lead. Gen AKAR rejected the dissenting officers. Gen OZTURK acted in support of AKAR and tried to convince the Generals that what they were doing was wrong and there was no chance for success.
- Although OZTURK complied Gen UNAL’s request and Gen AKAR’s invitation, and supported AKAR to convince the dissenters to give up, later he became the target of the pro-ERDOGAN media. They portrayed OZTURK as the leader of the coup and the highest ranking Gulenist in the Military.
- Prime Minister YILDIRIM talked to NTV with a calm voice and called the event a limited uprising, not a coup! He did not respond to the question about AKAR’s status. At this early stage, YILDIRIM had full confidence in the information he shared. His words were delicately selected: “this is not a coup, but a limited uprising by a particular group in the military”.
- This shows that YILDIRIM had awareness in advance what would happen in the Military that day.
- All Government officials, speaking to the media on the day and after, deliberately used the expression ‘limited uprising’, showing their awareness and coordination about the situation very early on.
- YILDIRIM, AKSAKALLI, and DUNDAR, despite having information about AKAR’s status, did not share it with the public. This served many purposes. Some dissenters continued to believe that AKAR was on their side. The public and the media were kept concerned about AKAR’s personal safety.
- All TV arrangements during the night for ERDOGAN, YILDIRIM, DUNDAR, AKSAKALLI and their collaborators were synchronized with their detailed information on the dissenters’ activities.
- According to AKSAKALLI’s testimony, YILDIRIM and AKSAKALLI talked on the phone and talked about how to encourage people to get to the streets.
- This should not be the first topic for a Major General to coordinate with the Prime Minister at an early stage in a chaos. The first step should be collecting information on the dissenters and increasing the safety of the key Government officials.
- People were definitely not required to stop the limited number of dissenters. The police and the majority of the Military were already against them. Pushing people on the streets and letting them die served only ERDOGAN and his collaborators.
- Pro-ERDOGAN media started mass broadcast of a list of around 1,500 military officers from all around the country, blaming them for being the organizers of the coup attempt and members of FETO.
- In fact, many of these officers were not directly or indirectly involved in the events. However, they were immediately imprisoned.
- Police Aviation Department located in Golbasi, Ankara was allegedly bombed by an F-16. Seven policemen lost their lives. The explosion is under investigation.
- After a few hours of delay, UNAL finally accepted to send a group of Generals to Eskişehir Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) to stop F-16 flights over Ankara.
- Due to UNAL’s decision not to change his location, all other Generals stayed at the wedding ceremony until dissenters from Air Force Search and Rescue Team arrived by helicopters and detained UNAL and the others.
- Gen UNAL’s decision on not to change his location and initial denial of immediately sending Generals to Eskisehir CAOC to intervene in a critical situation have to be investigated.
- SANVER stated later that “UNAL and I, at least I, did not have any information about the coup attempt until 21:30”.
- Lt Gen SANVER, father of the bride at the wedding, was expected to be the next Chief of the Air Force following UNAL. However, SANVER retired because the Government surprisingly promoted another General instead of him shortly after the events. This was a shock to many officials in the Military.
- Ataturk Airport’s public gate and Control Tower were taken by the dissenters. The dissenters were too few to keep control at both locations.
- No support came later. Thus, retaking the tower from dissenters a while later was not difficult.
- According to his testimony, Chief of Navy ADM BOSTANOGLU states that he first learned about the coup attempt by a call from RADM ARSLAN, who was the acting Chief of Staff of the Navy HQ in Ankara.
- AKAR’s and GULER’s failure to inform BOSTANOGLU is unusual.
- The dissenters took over the headquarters of the state TV, TRT and announced the coup memorandum by forcing an anchorwoman to read it. The dissenters were too few to keep control of the building.
- No support came later. Thus, retaking the TRT HQ from dissenters a few hours later was not difficult.
- From the beginning to the end, almost all media stations broadcast the events live, all of them opposing the alleged coup. The Internet was also on. The only media served dissenters for a few hours was state-owned TRT, which has very low ratings.
- According to his testimony, AKSAKALLI and Minister of Interior Efkan ALA talked on the phone and coordinated how to arrange the arrest of the dissenters.
- Coordinating the later arrests at this early stage, instead of stopping the continuing chaos, is not logical.
- The transport aircraft with Brig Gen TERZI and his team of 24 Special Forces personnel on board, took off from Diyarbakir despite the flight ban.
- According to testimonies, Col Umit TATAN in Ankara, a loyalist to AKSAKALLI, facilitated TERZI’s departure and kept an eye on the whole flight. He told the authorities in Diyarbakir that TERZI’s flight was allowed by AKSAKALLI. When the pilots reminded the flight ban to their superiors, they were told that TGS approval was given for this flight.
- AKSAKALLI’s support for this flight despite the ban is clear evidence that he was acting as an infiltrator during the night.