Hundreds of fingerprints found on key documents at coup bid HQ in Turkey

Hundreds of fingerprints found on key documents at coup bid HQ in Turkey

Hundreds of fingerprints found on key documents at coup bid HQ in Turkey

DHA photo

Hundreds of fingerprints have been found on documents seized from the Akıncı Air Base, which was used as a headquarters by the perpetrators of the July 2016 coup, according to Turkish authorities. 

A total of 585 fingerprints were found on the confiscated documents, of which some 377 could not be determined, daily Habertürk reported on Feb. 9. Authorities, however, managed to identify 208 other people from their fingerprints, tracking them down for questioning. 

According to the daily, satellite footage of Huber Mansion, a presidential palace in Istanbul, was also found among the documents. Three fingerprints were found on a document titled “Presidential Huber Mansion,” one of which was determined to belong to Staff Lt. Col. Veli Bilgin. 

Authorities are investigating as to whether Huber Mansion was among the targets of the perpetrators of the coup, which has been blamed on the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) because of the possibility that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would be there. 

In addition to the footage of the mansion, other footage was also found among the 146 documents. The footage included buildings bombed by the plotters, such as the police special operations center in Ankara’s Gölbaşı. 

The authorities have determined that Brig.-Gen. Gökhan Şahin Sönmezateş, who directed an operation against Erdoğan, prepared the satellite footage with Capt. Ali Pehlivan on July 9, 2016, after recalling him from a leave of absence. 

Announcing that he wanted to take advantage of the effective remorse law, Pehlivan described the process of how they prepared the footage in his testimony. 

“Sönmezateş called me on July 9 on the last day of the Eid al-Fitr. He said, ‘Let’s meet tomorrow morning at around 9 or 10 a.m.’ I went there on Sunday. Sönmezateş said, ‘Would you swear on your child to not tell anyone about what we are going to do here?’ He wanted me to open the CAS program. That was the map command version of Google Earth that was installed on our computers,” he said. 

During his testimony, Pehlivan said Sönmezateş told him to take a screenshot of the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) headquarters.

“We took the photos of the Police Special Operations Department, Interior Ministry, Prime Ministry, Gölbaşı Special Operations Center, the Department of Telecommunications and Communication (TİB) building and Türksat building in Ankara. In Istanbul, we took the photos of the Kalender Officer’s Club, Huber Mansion, Fenerbahçe Officer’s Club and the military barracks in Samandıra and pasted all of them into a Power Point file,” he said. 

Pehlivan also said he wrote the coordinates of the places under the photos. 

The Akıncı Air Base was used as the center of the failed coup attempt on the night of July 15, 2016. Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and force commanders were taken to the base and held captive by pro-coup soldiers. However, they were all later freed in a special forces operation in the early hours of July 16, 2016.