Police apprehend three Gülen-linked members of underwater commando team attempting to flee abroad
EDİRNEThree members of Turkey’s underwater commando team with alleged links to the Gülen movement under U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of masterminding the July 2016 failed coup attempt, were apprehended in the northwestern border province of Edirne on May 16, Doğan News Agency has reported.
One first lieutenant and two staff sergeant commandoes, identified only by the initials A.Ç., Y.Ö. and M.Ö., had reportedly played an active role in the July 15, 2016 coup attempt and allegedly have been tasked with taking President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hostage on the night of the coup attempt at Istanbul’s Huber Palace.
Upon receiving an intelligence, counter-terrorism police detained the three commandoes while they were about to flee abroad in a field near the exit of the Istanbul-Edirne highway.
They were being sought as fugitives by the Ankara 4th high criminal court on charges of “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order,” the agency said.
According to their initial testimonies, the three reportedly confessed their links to the Gülen Movement, adding that they had been informed about the coup attempt five days earlier.
The plan was to get the president from the Huber Palace and take him to Samandıra before abducting him on board a ship off a coast on the Marmara Sea, the soldiers reportedly said.
However, they were subsequently diverted to the Akıncı air base in the capital Ankara upon a phone call after it was revealed that Erdoğan had already set out to the Mediterranean resort of Marmaris where he would spend his holiday.
The proceedings of the commandoes have been ongoing at the police headquarters.