53 detained in anti-Gülen operation at Turkish defense giant Aselsan
ANKARASome 53 people were detained in an operation targeting followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen at Turkish defense giant Aselsan.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on March 9 issued detention warrants for 84 people over suspected links to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), widely believed to have orchestrated the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
On the list were people who were previously dismissed from their posts, and detention operations were carried out in Ankara, Istanbul, the northwestern province of Tekirdağ, and the Black Sea province of Samsun. The suspects are accused of “managing or being members of an armed terrorist organization.”
It was determined that some 26 of the suspects were users of ByLock, a smartphone application that came to prominence after it emerged that it had been used by Gülenists, as the former telephone contacts of a significant number of suspects were marked.
In addition, the authorities said a number of suspects had previously participated in Gülenists’ meetings and deposited money to Bank Asya, a bank that was later seized by the state over its links to the network.
The suspects, including engineers and specialists, deposited money in the bank upon Gülen’s orders.
According to the investigation file, the suspects made statements regarding their links to FETÖ.
After six months of work by Chief Public Prosecutor Mustafa Gökçe, the operation was launched in the early hours of March 9.
I was at crisis desk on morning of Turkey’s coup attempt: Key suspect
One of the key figures of the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt has said he was at the crisis desk formed at the Prime Minister’s Mansion in Ankara on July 16.
Maj. Gen. Mehmet Dişli said he was at the desk from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., according to his second testimony, daily Cumhuriyet reported on March 10, adding that Dişli said Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım can confirm that he was at the crisis desk.
In his testimony, he also said he was held at gun point by coup plotting soldiers on July 15, 2016 and they forced him to talk to Chief of the Army Gen. Hulusi Akar in order to notify him of the attempted coup.
The suspect, who is the brother of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Şaban Dişli, reportedly stated that Akar thanked him for his efforts in stopping the coup attempt.
Dişli, who served as Akar’s secretary, is accused of ordering Akar to sign the coup declaration and read it out to the public, along with other aides and secretaries taking part in the coup attempt.