First removal of armored military vehicles begins in Istanbul after coup attempt
AA photoThe process to remove armored military vehicles as a part of the Turkish government’s effort to relocate military bases outside of city centers after the failed coup attempt of July 15 has begun at a military barracks in Istanbul, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Armored vehicles in the Baştabya Military Barracks operating under the 6th Mechanized Armored Infantry Brigade Commandership of the 3rd Army in Istanbul’s Sultangazi district were loaded onto military trucks headed for military barracks in Çorlu and Beşiktepe in the Marmara province of Tekirdağ.
A total of six military trucks left the Baştabya barracks escorted by police and headed for the suburban bases with an outdoor ceremony.
Police also took security measures during the transport of the vehicles.
The remaining batch of armored vehicles in Baştabya will be removed gradually in accordance with the government’s decision to move military barracks out of city centers by Sept. 11.
The Baştabya Barracks was one of the military barracks from which armored vehicles were deployed to Atatürk Airport and the police headquarters on Vatan Avenue on the night of the failed coup attempt, which was blamed on the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
The former director of the Istanbul security branch, Mithat Aynacı, was caught inside a tank dispatched from the barracks to Vatan Avenue during the attempted coup.
The fate of the emptied barracks has remained a matter of debate since the government vowed to close down all military barracks used in Ankara and Istanbul during the July 15 coup attempt and move them to the suburbs.
In the very first moments of the coup attempt, tanks and armored vehicles dispatched from the 1st Army Command in Istanbul closed the city’s two major bridges to traffic. However, soldiers on the Bosphorus Bridge later surrendered to security forces after the coup attempt failed.
A total of 35 planes, including 24 fighter jets, 37 helicopters, 74 tanks, 246 armored vehicles and three ships were used in the coup attempt, according to figures provided by the General Staff in the aftermath of the failed takeover.