I told coup plotters not to spill blood: Turkish army chief
“I tried to convince the coup plotters not to spill blood but I wasn’t successful,” Akar said while giving his testimony as part of the investigation into the failed coup attempt, adding that Maj. Gen. Mehmet Dişli, a key figure among the coup plotters, told him they “would take everyone.”
“Dişli told me, ‘The action has already begun; the battalions and brigades are on the way and there is no turning back.’ I couldn’t make sense of it at first, maybe he mentioned planes, but then I understood that it was an operation that can be called an ‘uprising.’ I got angry and said, ‘What the hell are you talking about? What operation? Are you nuts? Don’t do it… I will have nothing to do with those who are involved in such things,’” Akar said.
Akar and all force commanders were taken hostage by their secretaries, aides and guards on the night of the coup attempt.
Saying that he couldn’t realize if the door behind him was open or not, Akar noted he asked where the other commanders and deputy chiefs of staff were, to which Dişli replied by saying they “will arrive.”
“I told them that they were on the wrong track, they were in a big swamp and that they will serve their sentences. I also told them to show their manhood and end this without involving others,” Akar said.
He also said Bridg. Gen. Hakan Evrim wanted him to talk to U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, believed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to be behind the coup attempt.
“Evrim told me that they could have me talk to Gülen if I wanted to. I said, ‘I won’t talk to anybody,’” he also said.
In his testimony, Akar also mentioned the speech President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave on July 15 at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport after he arrived from the resort town of Marmaris, saying that it made the coup plotters lose hope.
“I said, ‘You made it worse than war, go surrender.’ They started to be demoralized as time passed,” he added.
Saying that he talked to Akın Öztürk, a former air force chief already arrested as one of the key suspects, Akar added that he told him to make the coup plotting soldiers change their minds.
“I told them to stop tricking people. They told me, ‘Okay commander, we are giving up.’ They also told me that they will have me talk to either the president or the prime minister. Then they ended their attempt,” he also said.