Key Turkish coup attempt general Öztürk cites army chief as witness to prove innocence
Mesut Hasan Benli – ANKARAA former four-star general arrested over the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt has cited Turkey’s chief of general staff as a witness to prove his innocence.
Former Air Force Commander Akın Öztürk cited Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar as a witness in order to refute allegations that he took part in the attempted takeover, widely believed to have been masterminded by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
Öztürk, who was arrested on July 18, 2016, is accused of being a member of the “Peace in the Homeland Council,” the leading body of the foiled coup, and is accused of coordinating coup activities at the Akıncı Air Base used as a headquarters by pro-coup soldiers.
It has emerged that Öztürk penned letters to Akar and then-Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler on July 25 while in jail.
The letters were delivered to the prosecutor’s office for “constituting evidence of a crime,” with Güler’s signature.
In his letter to Akar, Öztürk said he believes that the army chief will “do what’s necessary” on the issue.
“Honorable commander, I have told prosecutor Serdar Coşkun about the incidents we experienced together on July 15 after two days of detention. Naturally, I cited you, Güler, the chief of the air staff and the other generals we saved as witnesses. It carries vital importance for your testimonies to be included in the indictment prepared by the prosecutor. I sincerely believe that you will do what’s necessary on this issue,” Öztürk reportedly wrote in the letter addressed to Akar.
In the letter he also said he went to the Fourth Base Command upon the request of Air Force Commander Gen. Abidin Ünal “without having any knowledge on the issue.”
In addition, Öztürk asked Güler to intervene in his case “as soon as possible” after giving details of his testimony.
“You being a witness is very significant during preparation of the indictment by the prosecutor. That’s why I think it’s beneficial for you to intervene as soon as possible. I have no information on the events that unfolded. Some people put us in some places,” Öztürk told Güler in the letter.