Turkish lawyer files complaint for top US soldiers for ‘supporting coup attempt’
Damla Güler - ISTANBUL
A Turkish lawyer has filed a complaint against three senior U.S. soldiers, accusing them of making terror propaganda over the failed July 15 coup while claiming that some of the bombs used in the attempt did not belong to the Turkish military.
Lawyer Mert Eryılmaz filed a complaint at the Bakırköy Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul regarding U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Central Command Gen. Joseph Votel on the grounds that they supported the attempted takeover of July 15, which has been blamed on the Fethullah Gülen movement.
Eryılmaz stated in his complaint that the coup attempt was directed from the İncirlik Air Base in the southern province of Adana and that military officers with links to the Gülen movement cooperated with U.S. military personnel at the base.
He said bombs which do not belong to the Turkish military were found inside eight cargo planes which took off from the base and landed in the eastern province of Malatya on the night of July 15.
The base’s commander, Brig. Bekir Ercan Van, had sought asylum in the U.S. when the coup attempt failed but was rejected.
The lawyer also noted the testimony of Specialized Sgt. Muhammet Emrah Kuzu, who said Van called him to duty on July 15, after which he entered a building at the base belonging to U.S. soldiers, staying there around 20 minutes.
The soldiers at the base supported the movement and violated international conventions, the lawyer said, demanding the precautionary closure of the base.
The Bakırköy Public Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation but said the matter was out of its jurisdiction, sending the file to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office where coup attempt probes are being conducted.
The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office could either file a lawsuit or drop the complaint.
Following the coup attempt, a report by pro-government daily Yeni Şafak claimed that retired Gen. John Campbell planned the failed coup attempt. It stated that Campbell provided a huge amount of cash flow from the UBA Bank in Nigeria via the CIA in order to support the coup.
Dunford dismissed the allegations, describing them as “absurd.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also lashed out at Votel for appearing to lament the fact that some Turkish officers with whom the U.S. had relations were detained for their role in the attempted overthrow, saying the situation could impair relations between the two militaries.
The Pentagon stated that the general was misunderstood, saying any report suggesting Votel’s support in favor of coup-plotting soldiers was factually inaccurate.