Erdoğan’s aircraft technician released

Erdoğan’s aircraft technician released

Erdoğan’s aircraft technician released

An aircraft technician who was part of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s helicopter flight crew on the night of the coup attempt in 2016 was released on Dec. 8, after being arrested on suspicion of using ByLock, the encrypted messaging application said to have been used by followers of U.S.-based Fethullah Gülen.

Tayyib Sina Doğan was a technician who was one of the three members of the helicopter crew that flew Erdoğan and his family to Dalaman Airport from Marmaris, where they were on holiday that night.

Doğan, who had joined Erdoğan’s aircraft team in September 2014, was dismissed from his post in a state of emergency decree on Nov. 22, 2016 following the July 2016 coup attempt.

He was arrested once year later on suspicion of downloading the ByLock application.

Doğan denies any link to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), believed to have been behind the coup attempt.

“I have never downloaded that application. I think it was downloaded on my phone through other software. If it is detected that the ByLock content and username belong to me, I will acknowledge any punishment,” he said.

Doğan added that he was one of the president’s flight technicians on the night of the coup attempt and had actively acted against the initiatives of pro-coup soldiers.

“If I was a member of a terrorist organization, I would not have let the helicopter take off. I had the key and knowledge of the equipment,” he said.

Erdoğan had flown to Istanbul after delivering a speech on private broadcaster CNN Türk via FaceTime, in which he called on citizens to hit the streets to oppose the attempted putsch.