Security footage tells undisputable truth on coup night
In the coup attempt case regarding the General Staff Headquarters, the defendants have denied everything to the judge. But they could not explain the camera records, and they answered some questions illogically and quite strangely, triggering reactions from the public.
One of the defendants who has denied all the charges is the head of the Strategic Transformation Department of the General Staff, Maj. Gen. Mehmet Dişli. He has strongly denied everything in his statement to the prosecutor and in court. He claimed he was trying to help Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar all through the night of July 15, 2016, and tried to protect him.
Dişli said he was called to the headquarters on the evening of July 15 and that two or three people from Special Forces took him to an office at gunpoint. They dictated a text for him to pass on to Akar. He said he had to communicate that there had been a coup to the commander because he also was under threat.
It is Dişli’s most natural right to benefit from the presumption of innocence. However, the statements of other suspects and victims, primarily Akar’s, and security camera records from the General Staff, his own phone records and several contradictions in his statements draw a much different portrait of Mehmet Dişli than what he claims.
The head of the Press and Public Information Department, Brig. Gen. Ertuğrulgazi Özkürkçü, was put on the ground by Special Forces in front of the office of Akar, and his hands and feet were tied. According to the brigadier general’s statement, Dişli came out of the office and made checks; when somebody asked “When are we going to evacuate?” Dişli answered, “Not now. We will receive instructions; wait.”
Özkürkçü, based on what he witnessed, concluded that Dişli was the leader of the coup attempt at the General Staff Headquarters.
Similarly, Akar’s aide-de-camp, Lt. Col. Levent Türkkan, said in his statement that they all gathered at Dişli’s office in the afternoon of July 15 upon a call from Akar’s chief adviser, Col. Orhan Yıkılkan. Dişli explained the details of the coup plan, telling them that he would declare the coup to Akar at 2:30 a.m. at his residence and that Akar would lead the coup if he agreed or be neutralized if he refused. However, Türkkan rejected this statement in court.
In this case, let us leave the statements aside and review the security cameras that tell us the undisputable truth. Dişli’s aide, NCO Suat Sağlam, guided 24 ranking officers, including Col. Doğan Öztürk, to the loading and unloading station and distributed arms to them at 9:10 p.m. After waiting in the yard for a while, Sağlam went to the south entrance at 9:17 p.m. when a white bus pulled up nearby. At 9:19 p.m., 33 fully equipped Special Forces members got off the bus in a line. The lights were then turned off at the entrance. At 9:21 p.m., Sağlam and Öztürk let the Special Forces troops in beside the right barrier. The soldiers climbed the stairs to the command floor at 9:22. Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler and other anti-coup generals in the headquarters were captured by these soldiers.
There are many other instances of camera footage of Sağlam. One of them is while he was walking Lt. Gen. Metin Gürak at gunpoint in the yard at 10:32, another one showed him greeting putschist Rear Adm. Sinan Süer at the entrance at 11:22 p.m. He also greeted General Staff legal adviser Col. Muharrem Köse in the yard on 12:07 a.m.
These activities show us that he played a key role that night during the coup activities at the General Staff headquarters.
Sağlam, who led this exchange, escaped from the headquarters on the morning of July 16. He went to Dişli’s wife on July 19 and took her to Sincan Prison to visit her arrested husband.
Sağlam fulfilled his tasks at the headquarters on the night of the coup and even afterward, so do you think the role he played was independent of that of Mehmet Dişli?