Gülenists within Turkish Armed Forces defied orders from PM, HQ: Military

Gülenists within Turkish Armed Forces defied orders from PM, HQ: Military

Gülenists within Turkish Armed Forces defied orders from PM, HQ: Military

AFP photo

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have released a new statement regarding the July 15 failed coup attempt, saying members of the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) defied orders from Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and the military headquarters. 

The TSK received intel from National Intelligence Service (MİT) at around 4 p.m. on July 15 regarding a planned coup attempt and asked for measures to be taken, but the orders were not carried out by followers of Fethullah Gülen, a U.S.-based Islamic scholar said to be behind the plot, the statement said. 

“As was revealed before, intel received from MİT on July 15 at around 4 p.m. was evaluated with the participation of the Chief of Staff, the Chief of the Army, and the Deputy Chief of the General Staff in the general staff headquarters,” the TSK statement released on July 21 read. 

It said the TSK ordered the cancellation of military flights and the return of flights already in the air, as the halting of all military vehicles - including tanks and armored vehicles in the Armed Forces School in the Etimesgut district of Ankara and the Training Division Command.

Saying procedures to cancel military flights were completed at 19.26 p.m., the TSK added that the order was reasserted at both 19.56 p.m. and 20.31 p.m. 

“Despite all of these warnings and orders, it was determined that take-offs were carried out from several places via using different introductory codes and call names, starting from 21.45 p.m. After FETÖ members tried to take control of the Air Force Operation Center, Air Force Commander Gen. Abidin Ünal, who was in Istanbul, ordered the center to be cleansed of terrorists and disconnected,” the TSK statement said. 

“The center was made dysfunctional upon the order. Ünal then called [former Air Force Commander] Gen. Akın Öztürk and told him that the jets that took off from the Akıncı Airbase in Ankara were illegal. He also asked him to try to persuade those involved in the uprising,” the statement also said. 

“In line with the orders of the prime minister and the defense minister, plans were made in reaction to illegal take-offs. Several F-16s took off and forced the planes in the air to land. The planes were notified that they would be shot down if they did not comply with the orders,” it added. 

“The airstrips at the Akıncı Air Base were bombed with F-4 planes and control was established. In addition, in order to halt the FETÖ members and make them surrender, several points around the base were bombed,” the statement added.

The TSK also stated that all those involved in the failed coup attempt would be “punished in the harshest way.”