Coup suspects playing Three Monkeys, Erdoğan says
AA photoThe suspects who are currently on trial for their alleged role in the July 2016 coup attempt are playing a game of Three Monkeys but they will not be able to “escape a painful end,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.
“Even though they were caught red-handed, what are they now saying in court? The FETÖ [Fethullahist Terrorist Organization] members who have been saying ‘we heard, saw and spoke no evil’ and who have their head in the sand will not be able to escape the painful end that is waiting for them,” Erdoğan said June 1 at his presidential palace during a gathering with local muhtars, leaders of a village or neighborhood, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.
“Who are you playing this game for?” he added.
Earlier this week, senior military officers denied their alleged involvement in FETÖ during court hearings initiated against 221 suspects in Ankara.
“You advance upon my people with F-16s, helicopters, tanks, modern weapons and then still you say, ‘I haven’t seen, heard, or done anything.’ Who are you fooling? All the documents and images are out in the open. We also won’t stop following your influencers abroad; by following them step by step, we’ll make sure that they are granted the outcome they deserve,” the president said.
“In their hearts, our people have already inflicted the severest punishment upon them [the suspects] for their treachery. I have no doubt that the decisions of the court, which makes decisions on behalf of our people, will end up this way,” he said.
The Ankara 17th High Criminal Court began on May 22 a high-profile case against the 221 suspects, who have been accused of perpetrating the coup attempt, which is widely believed to have been orchestrated by the FETÖ.
Akın Öztürk, Mehmet Partigöç and Mehmet Dişli are some of the former generals who have testified in the court and denied their involvement in the putsch, arguing that there has been a campaign of manipulation against them.
“In the press, there was news that ‘Akın Öztürk confessed’ before I had even given a statement. This is the beginning of a persuasion operation against me. Even if the anonymous witnesses’ statements which indicate that I took part in the meetings with putschists in Çukurambar, Ankara, were lies, [the press] published them as if they were true,” Öztürk, the first general to read his defense, was previously quoted as saying.
On May 30, Dişli, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy leader Şaban Dişli’s brother, made his defense at the court, again denying the accusations against him. Asked by the court why he did not phone his AKP deputy brother on the day of the coup attempt, the former general reportedly said he did not have the latter’s phone number.