Kemal Batmaz stayed with Fethullah Gülen in Pennsylvania
Kemal Batmaz is a key figure in the July 15 coup attempt, who was identified to be at the Akıncı Air Base—the command center for the putsch—on that night by security cameras.
A document has recently been revealed showing Batmaz told United States airport security officials he would be “staying with Imam Fethullah Gülen in Pennsylvania” upon his arrival in the U.S. on Jan. 1, 2016.
The document qualifies as among the largest evidence linking the coup attempt to Gülen. It was first sent to the Turkish Security Department on Sept. 8, 2017 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Later the document reached the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office before it went to the courts that oversee the Akıncı Base trial and the Central Command trial.
This is because it clearly demonstrates a close relationship between Kemal Batmaz—who was at the 143rd Fleet, the command center of the putsch at the Akıncı Base, and Fethullah Gülen.
With the documents, both the public and the judiciary learned Kemal Batmaz went and stayed with Gülen in his mansion in the U.S. exactly six and a half months prior to the coup.
It debunks Batmaz’s “I don’t know Gülen” statement
It also completely debunks Batmaz’s testimony that he did not “know Gülen” after he was apprehended.
After he was caught, in his testimony on Oct. 18, 2016 Batman said “I do not know him personally, I know only him through the media. I see him as a ringleader of a movement that was sincere at first but became secular and thus, problematic in time. Since late 2014 and early 2015, I viewed the Fethullah Gülen movement as an organization, and so, Fethullah Gülen is the leader of a terror network and a terrorist.” Batmaz had also confessed he had history working for the Gülen network businesses but said he had parted ways with Kaynak Holding.
It has now been revealed that Batmaz, who had characterized Gülen as “a ringleader of a terror network,” went to the U.S. and stayed with the person whom he described as such.
U.S. Homeland Security officer suspicious of frequent visits
One of the most important developments shedding light on Gülen’s connection to the attempted putsch is based on an interrogation held at New Jersey’s Newark Airport on Jan. 1, 2016.
In the U.S., passports are controlled by border and customs officers, working under the Department of Homeland Security.
In this instance, an officer who finds Batmaz’s frequent visits suspicious and wants to question his intention about coming to the U.S. so frequently asks for him to be subjected to a detailed interrogation. And, so, another officer takes Batmaz under a private interrogation. Per standards, this exchange is recorded and kept in the system. After the Turkish Justice Ministry’s countless requests, U.S. officials cooperated with Ankara and about a month ago, on Sept. 7, sent a copy of the interrogation text to the Turkish capital.
The document was sent to the Turkish Security Department’s Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Directorate by a U.S. Homeland Security representative in Ankara.
One interesting aspect of this document is how it shows Batmaz, who had purchased a ticket for the Dulles Airport outside Washington, D.C., had landed in New Jersey’s Newark Airport due to weather conditions.
This document also reveals Batmaz flew to the U.S. from England. This is a very important detail. Official reports regarding Batmaz’s international departures show Batmaz left for England on Jan. 1, 2016 from Istanbul. In the evaluation of the evidence in the Akıncı Base trial’s indictment, it had been noted that Batman left for England on this date, whereas, the document the U.S. sent showed England was a stop on his way to the U.S.
His friend will take him to Gülen
This is exactly what the “Only for official use/ Only for law enforcement use” engraved document sent by the U.S. said:
“The individual has been taken under a second interrogation by the officer who checked his passport on Jan. 1, 2016 suspected for visiting the U.S. too frequently with a probable effort to obtain an immigrant visa. The individual has claimed he brought $7,000 for individual purposes. He will be spending his first night at the Riviera Hotel on 169 Clinton Avenue, Newark, New Jersey. He will be staying with Imam Mohammed Fethullah Gülen in Pennsylvania after that. The individual has claimed his friend İsmail Çelik (cell: 201-450-8010), will greet him and take him to the hotel tonight. His other friend Yavuz Ulusoy (10 Stevens Road Apt. 94, Wallington, New Jersey), will be taking him to Mohammed Fethullah Gulen’s property (of which the address is not noted).
The individual owns an architecture firm of his own called Matrix Realty Investment.
The individual has claimed he boarded a plane heading to the Dulles Airport (in Sterling, Virginia outside Washington, D.C.) however, the plane had changed route per the weather conditions and that he would leave the country out of Dulles Airport on his way back. The individual claimed his friends asked him to find an airport nearby and that they would pick him up. The individual said there are no other persons he knows in the U.S. He resides at the address Orhan Veli Kanık Caddesi, Gün Sokak, Mihrabat sitesi, 5-7 Kavacık/ İstanbul. He lives with wife Gonca Batmaz and their children. The individual was let go without causing an incident.”
Öksüz went to England a day before him
Kemal Batmaz has been put on trial as the third suspect in the Akıncı Base case, following Fethullah Gülen and Adil Öksüz, dubbed the “imam” of the Air Force. The indictment said Batmaz frequently visited the U.S. prior to July 15 based on official documents. Batmaz had gone to the U.S. on the same flight as Adil Öksüz four days before the coup on July 11, 2016 and had returned on the same flight with Öksüz on July 13. Batmaz had initially argued he did not know Öksüz and then had confessed he had crossed paths with the second suspect.
Kemal Batmaz was identified in the security footage obtained from cameras on the 143rd Fleet area in the Akıncı Base and said he was “searching for land [to buy],” when he was apprehended the next morning near the base. What is interesting is how Öksüz was also apprehended in an open area by Akıncı and said “I was searching for land [to buy].”
Also, according to the Akıncı Base indictment, Adil Öksüz had departed for England a day before Jan. 1, 2016, when Batmaz headed there. In this context, the possibility of Öksüz’s use of England as a stopover in his travel to the U.S. like Batmaz seems highly likely.
The duo both being in the U.S. is not so surprising with the knowledge they were travel buddies on July 11-13, 2016.