Who told PM that it was a coup, if not the intelligence?
The first anniversary of the July 15, 2016, coup attempt is over but there are still unanswered questions about it, which makes it more difficult to understand what actually happened that night and how the Gülenists, who are accused of plotting the coup, managed to stage it.
One of those questions is how Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım found out about it in spite of the fact that he says Hakan Fidan, the head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), did not inform him even when Yıldırım phoned him that night amid the unfolding incidents.
This question is relevant because according to the Turkish legislation, the MİT chief is directly responsible for reporting to the Prime Minister, and it was Yıldırım who was the first voice from the government to address the people through a telephone connection with the private channel NTV at 23:02, almost two hours after the coup soldiers pushed the button and said this was not a coup done by the military’s chain of command but an “uprising” by a junta taking orders from Fethullah Gülen, the U.S.-resident Islamist preacher who is accused of masterminding the coup to overthrow the Turkish government.
Yıldırım recently repeated his complaint in an interview on July 15 with daily Hürriyet Editor-in-Chief Fikret Bila.
In the interview, he said he thought he called Fidan sometime between 22:30 and 23:00, “probably 22:40,” but “could not get that information” from Fidan, the information being that there was a coup attempt going on. He also said despite his question, Fidan “did not say anything about the coup at that stage.”
Interestingly enough, Yıldırım had made similar remarks right after the coup attempt in 2016.
For example, on July 23, 2016, only a week after the defeated coup, he said in a live interview on private broadcaster aTV the following:
* “[The coup soldiers] have issued loads of orders. The intelligence told the General Staff about them. No precautions were taken. Force commanders, even the Chief of the General Staff, were pended and taken to the Akıncı air base [the coup headquarters]. Why was I not informed about them? I am also looking for an answer to that question. We were not informed about what was going on.”
On Aug. 2, 2016, almost three weeks after the coup attempt, Yıldırım said during a live interview on private broadcaster CNN Türk the following:
* “I asked the head of MİT about this. I said, ‘How can this be possible?’ The Prime Minister didn’t know about it, The President didn’t know about it. It is alright that you have told the Chief of Staff about it [the coup attempt] but you have to also inform the Prime Minister because you should be reporting to him. But he [Fidan] couldn’t give any answers to that; he did not say anything.”
By that time, between 21:30 and 22:20 - this was before Prime Minister called his intelligence chief about the coup soldiers who seized control in the General Staff’s headquarters and held Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, his deputy Gen. Yaşar Güler and the Commander of the Land Forces Gen. Salih Zeki Çolak - the tanks had already blocked the traffic on one of Istanbul’s bridges crossing over the Bosphorus and the F-16s taking off from the southeastern province of Diyarbakır started to fly low over the capital Ankara, creating terror with sonic booms. As journalists, we had already figured out that there was a coup attempt and were on our way to our newsrooms to report about it. But the Prime Minister keeps saying even after a year that he did not know why he was not informed about it by his intelligence chief.
The question is who, if not his intelligence chief and his chief of staff, told the Prime Minister that this was an uprising by a junta within the army manipulated by a religious group with hidden political targets?
The fact that makes it even more interesting is all those commanders and the head of intelligence that are still on duty and still reporting to the Prime Minister in accordance with the current legislation. There is also no investigation opened to understand what had happened that night regarding this “reporting” issue, other than the Prime Minister’s complaints to the media, even after a year.