Indictment seeks three life sentences for each coup soldier who raided Hürriyet

Indictment seeks three life sentences for each coup soldier who raided Hürriyet

Damla Güler – ISTANBUL
Indictment seeks three life sentences for each coup soldier who raided Hürriyet Istanbul’s Chief Prosecutor’s Office has demanded three aggravated life sentences for each of the 19 soldiers who raided daily Hürriyet, the Hürriyet Daily News, CNN Türk and Kanal D at the Doğan Media Center in Istanbul’s Bağcılar district on the night of the failed coup on July 15, 2016.

According to the indictment, the coup soldiers entered the parking lot of the Doğan Media Center at 3 a.m. on July 16. Soon, they split into two groups, opened fire into the air and shouted, “The General Staff has seized the power of the state.” 

The putschists threatened personnel at the Doğan Media Center with guns and demanded that they open the doors, the indictment stated.

A captain also granted permission to another soldier under his command to shoot anyone who moved.

Cpt. Süleyman Ahmet Kaya, who directed the soldiers on the night, became angry that the entrance to the building was covered with shutters and bullet-proof windows, the indictment said.

“If you don’t open the door, I will kill you,” said Kaya before opening fire into the air again, according to the indictment.   

Murat Yetkin, the editor-in-chief of the Hürriyet Daily News, told Kaya to lower his gun, according to the indictment.

Yetkin told Kaya that they were unarmed journalists, while also asking why they had come to the Doğan building. Kaya reportedly responded, saying a coup had occurred and that they had seized power.

Meanwhile, Ali Güven, a news coordinator for CNN Türk, told the soldiers that they were committing a crime against the constitution. Cpt. Erdal Şeker, who raided the CNN Türk building, responded, telling the soldiers under his command that they should not heed Güven’s complaints, according to the indictment. 

The soldiers also opened fire on personnel of the Doğan Media Center, according to the indictment.  

Hüseyin Ulaş, who is a personnel member of Doğan Media Center, came to the Hürriyet building from the adjacent CNN Türk building when he failed to hear from colleagues in the building. When soldiers saw Ulaş, they ordered him to come, but when he turned to leave, they fired two shots behind him.

At least 885 G3 projectiles were found at the Doğan Media Center by a subsequent crime scene investigation.

Fourteen infantry rifles, 10 assault vests and five steel vests were also seized by police.   

The indictment also stated that one citizen, Vedat Bağcerci, was killed by the coup soldiers.

When Kaya received word that armed loyalist police and citizens were approaching the building, he ordered his soldiers to release Hürriyet personnel that they were keeping captive and informed the arriving police that they possessed enough ammunition to fight.

During the resultant fight, Bağcerci was killed, according to the indictment.

Meanwhile, a helicopter arrived at the building to rescue the putschists, but it could not land due to police fire, the indictment said.

The indictment also stated that Kaya hid in a room when he determined that there was no way out of the building. He was eventually detained after being shot in the ankle.

Meanwhile, the indictment also noted that CNN Türk employees erected a barricade to the studio of presenter Başak Şengül in an attempt to ensure an uninterrupted live broadcast.