Chief of Staff held at gunpoint, ordered to read coup declaration: Sources

Chief of Staff held at gunpoint, ordered to read coup declaration: Sources

Uğur Ergan – ANKARA
Chief of Staff held at gunpoint, ordered to read coup declaration: Sources

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Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar was held at gunpoint and ordered by his private secretary to sign a coup declaration, as all force commanders were taken hostage by their secretaries, aides and guards on the night of the coup attempt, sources have claimed. 

The details of the events and incidents that occurred late on July 15 began to emerge with security sources revealing how the force commanders were held captive by pro-coup forces, which turned out to be officers including close aides and secretaries of top ranking soldiers. 

According to the claims, Akar’s secretary, Maj. Gen. Mehmet Dişli, along with aides and secretaries who sided with the coup plotters, initially ordered Akar to sign the declaration and read it out to the Turkish public. Facing Akar’s firm rejection, Dişli held Akar at gunpoint and attempted to physically force him to comply with the order by cinching a belt around his neck, the sources claimed. 

Akar still refused to read out the declaration and Brig. Gen. Mehmet Partigöç again tried to convince the chief of general staff, saying: “Commander, sign the declaration, you will see very good things will happen.” Akar refused this demand as well. 

Meanwhile, sources also claimed Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler, Chief of the Army Gen. Salih Zeki Çolak and Air Force Commander Gen. Abidin Ünal, who was attending a wedding at the time, were all reportedly held captive by their aides and guards. After the attempt was taken under control, both Dişli and Partigöç were arrested. 

“It was around 9:30 p.m. We were working at the General Staff [headquarters]. Voices started to come from the commander’s floor. I quickly went up to the commander’s floor. There were soldiers from the special forces. First, they said ‘there was a drill.’ The commander’s Special Secretary Maj. Gen. Mehmet Dişli came out and said, ‘Take him too,’ indicating me. I was laid down on the floor. My phones were taken. They tied my hands, feet and mouth. Shouts were heard from the commander’s room. All the aides and guards who were closest to the commander were on the coup plotters’ side. When I lifted my head, I noticed those who were positioned under me were with the coup plotters as well,” said a source who was present at the command post on the night of the coup attempt and who spoke on condition of anonymity.