Coup suspects confess Gülen links to the attempt
AP photoWhile the follow up detentions and arrests in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt have been ongoing, a number of suspects have demanded to confess and provided testimonies revealing Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen’s role in the failed bid.
In a quest to benefit from the effective remorse law during their prosecution, a number of arrested soldiers, judges and civil servants have reportedly confessed their knowledge of Gülen’s role in the coup attempt, which was aimed at toppling the democratically-elected Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, daily Sabah reported on July 29.
Kemal Işıklı, an expert at the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), who plead guilty to leading the underwater special forces commandos (SAT) on the night of July 15, said he was first introduced to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) in 1997 when he attended the Sabah Private Tuition Center in the Central Anatolian province of Konya.
“During one of the talks, someone whose name escapes me now asked me to be a ‘big brother,’” Işıklı said, adding that afterwards, six non-commissioned officers who were SAT staff started coming over to his place, where they recited the Quran, performed prayers and talked.
“We never discussed politics,” he said, adding he became a part of the FETÖ structure in 2011.
Hasan Bektaş, one of FETÖ’s so-called “gendarme imams in charge of non-commissioned gendarmeries,” said in his testimony that FETÖ was one of the biggest crime organizations.
Bektaş said he was introduced to FETÖ in 1998, when he was in tenth grade, and attended one of the private tuition centers run by the movement.
He said he lived in one of the apartments belonging to FETÖ during his university education in Konya, and later on started teaching at the organization’s schools.
Brig. Gen. Fatih Celaleddin Sağır was another army general who admitted he was linked to FETÖ.
The commander of the 5th Infantry Training Brigade in the Central Anatolian province of Sivas said in his testimony he was introduced to FETÖ during his years at the Military Academy.
“I was in contact with them from 1988 to 1992. However, from 1992 until 2007, I was just a sympathizer,” he said.
Sağır was alleged to be promoted to commander of martial law if the coup attempt had succeeded.