Coup-busting Turkish spy dies at 81
AA PhotoMahir Kaynak, a former intelligence official famous for uncovering a military coup attempt in the early 1970s, was laid to rest in Istanbul on Feb. 16.
Kaynak, who worked as an analyst until recently, died on Feb. 14 at his home in Istanbul, at the age of 81.
Many well-known figures from politics, the academy and sports attended his funeral, as the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) also sent an unsigned wreath.
Kaynak was born in the southern province of Gaziantep in 1934 and was educated as an army officer, but he left the military in 1967 and returned to his second life as an economics academic.
He was later introduced to the MİT, where he served as a spy in the uncovering of a left-wing military coup attempt, known as the March 9, 1971 attempt, which targeted right-wing Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel, who had been elected in the 1969 elections.
A group of journalists, including the late İlhan Seçuk and Doğan Avcıoğlu, were also allegedly involved in the coup attempt.
However, Kaynak and his fellow agent Mehmet Eymür informed then Chief of General Staff Memduh Tağmaç of the plot, also handing over eavesdropping records of related secret meetings by a high-ranking soldier.
Three days later, Tağmaç successfully led a separate coup, the second in Turkey’s republican history.
Kaynak retired from the MİT in 1980 and returned to being an economics professor nine years later.
He went on to write a number of books on regional and international relations.
He is the father of renowned academic Deniz Ülke Arıboğan, who is married to Lütfi Arıboğan, a former basketball player who is an executive at the Galatasaray sports club in Istanbul.