Couldn’t the July 15 coup attempt be prevented?
In an indictment into the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), three statements taken from the Second Chief of General Staff Yaşar Güler being regarded as a “victim” have been included. His first statement was taken on July 19, 2016 and its content was published on papers.
However, we have learnt from the FETÖ indictment that he gave two more statements on Oct. 7, 2016 and Jan. 4, 2017. Thanks to these statements, for the first time we are hearing firsthand about certain and very important aspects regarding the coup attempt.
Now, let us rewind the tape, based on these statements, to the afternoon of July 15, 2016.
While an anti-terror meeting was ongoing at the General Staff’s headquarters at 4:15 p.m., Güler left the meeting after he was informed that “the undersecretary of the National Intelligence Organization [MİT] wanted to task him.”
“I went to my office and spoke to MİT chief Hakan Fidan. He said an officer had come to MİT and told him ‘very important things, I will now send my deputy Mr. Sabahattin to you to explain the details.’ Sometime later, Mr. Sabahattin came,” Güler stated.
Mr. Sabahattin told the general: “A land forces major pilot visited us toward noon. He said, ‘I was called from leave yesterday. I joined my unit. First, I met my battalion commander. Then a colonel told us to take our night vision goggles. He told us that we would have a night flight tonight and at the end of the flight, we would ‘take’ Hakan Fidan.’ After this, Mr. Sabahattin left.”
Güler immediately went to see the Chief of General Staff and told him what Mr. Sabahattin had said.
“I told him I regarded this as an important situation and we should call Hakan Fidan here immediately. Mr. Hakan was immediately called and asked to come over. The MİT undersecretary came around 6:15 p.m. and we went to a working room right beside the office.”
Now, this sentence is very important: “Mr. Hakan explained the incident again. He said, ‘Commander, this incident could also be a part of a bigger event.’”
The second commander also stated, “Upon this, Chief of General Staff immediately took the phone and told brigadier-general İlhan Kurtıl at the operation center, “İlhan, I am banning the entire Turkish air space from all kinds of military flights.”
At this point of Güler’s statement, the most critical moment of the day is explained. “Upon this, Hakan Fidan said, ‘Commander, I should inform Mr. President,’ and he called the president’s security director Muhsin. He told Muhsin, ‘May I speak to Mr. President?’ I did not hear what the answer was. After this, Hakan Fidan asked, ‘Look Muhsin, if there is an external attack, do you have adequate force, weapons and men?’ He got an answer, but I don’t know the answer. Then, he asked again, “Muhsin, if you have an attack from outside, do you have the force, power and men to resist this?’ He probably had received an affirmative answer, he wished his best regards, and shut the phone.”
Six actors of that afternoon
We had learned of the general events of this traffic before when we read then-CNN Türk’s Ankara representative Hande Fırat’s book. The six important actors of that day are as follows:
1- The mysterious major H.A. who tipped off the coup, and who is still in jail.
2- MİT deputy undersecretary Mr. Sabahattin
3- MİT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan
4- Second Chief of General Staff Yaşar Güler
5- Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar
6- Mr. Muhsin, a security officer of the president.
For the first time, one of these six people from that day’s traffic is explaining firsthand what had happened on the afternoon of July 15.
Fırat, in her book, wrote that the mysterious major H.A. went to MİT offices at 2:45 p.m.; but in this statement Mr. Sabahattin said he came to MİT toward noon. Which one is right?
We understand from the statement that the two top commanders and the MİT undersecretary believed in the seriousness of the tipoff.
They have not underestimated the information as some others claim.
A detail that was not in the book is that Fidan had called Mr. Muhsin at around 7 p.m., asking the same question twice.
After all this, an official who is genuinely investigating the coup attempt should ask: While the six very important officials in the intelligence and security institutions of the state knew of the imminent coup, how come the president and the prime minister did not?
God has saved this country.
A crazed murderer gang of coup-plotters took action that night and this country’s elected president and his family could have lost their lives. Nearly 300 people have lost their lives in this coup attempt and there are hundreds injured.
However, the question is still dangling in the air: Couldn’t this coup attempt be prevented? Fidan left the military headquarters at 8:22 p.m. and our information about the mysterious hours of that night ends at that moment.
If we respect the martyrs and the injured of July 15 and our nation, it is about time we listen firsthand to the other five people.