Police chief shot in the head by coup soldiers wakes up after five months in intensive care
ANKARATurgut Aslan, the head of the Turkish police’s Anti-Terror Bureau, is gradually returning to life after spending five months in intensive care, where he was taken after being shot in the head by soldiers on the night of the attempted coup on July 15, 2016, daily Habertürk reported on Feb. 24.
Aslan was shot in the head from close distance with two bullets by Staff Colonel Erkan Öktem, who was an assistant to former Gendarmerie Chief Commander Galip Mendi, when he went to the gendarmerie commandership on the night of the coup attempt. Taken to hospital hours after he was shot, Aslan has since gone through five brain surgeries and spent five months in intensive care.
Now out of the intensive care unit, Aslan is receiving regular treatment and continuing physical therapy. He has difficulty walking but his doctors say his condition is promising.
Making a statement to daily Habertürk, Associate Prof. Ahmet Demircan, the chief doctor of Ankara Gazi University Medicine School Hospital, described Aslan’s progress as a “miracle.”
“He is someone who is very committed to his country and to life. He has given a big fight for life. Although his treatment began very late, it was very successful. We have carried out five brain surgeries and the result is positive. We see this as a miracle,” said Demircan.
Close relatives of Aslan said that he prayed as soon as he opened his eyes and then asked what happened, as he could not remember what happened during the coup attempt.
In August 2016, camera footage emerged showing Aslan and his bodyguard being abducted by pro-coup gendarmerie soldiers after the two arrived at the commandership in the Beştepe area of Ankara. He had gone there to find out what was going after seeing a number of F-16 jets flying low over the city.
The footage showed Aslan entering the commandership’s headquarters after introducing himself. He was then taken to a meeting room and only seen hours later, leaving with his eyes covered with a piece of cloth and his hands tied behind his back. According to the footage, Aslan was taken to another part of the building and was found shot in the head the next morning by police teams who raided the commandership after the coup attempt was quashed.
His bodyguard, meanwhile, was found dead in the morning raid.