July 15 and Akıncı Air Base (11): Prepared at the 143, executed at the 141
First lieutenant Müslim Macit is the pilot with the lowest rank who joined the coup attempt on the night of July 15 at Akıncı Air Base.
Following the question, “who here has the lowest rank?” to the F-16 pilots who were gathered at the 141st Fleet, the first mission given to Macit was to stay in front of the computer at the “desk” and translate the targets into co-ordinates which the aviators could use.
In his prosecution testimony, Lieutenant Macit said the parliament’s front yard, Kızılay Square, Chief of the General Staff, Security Department Special Operations Center, National İntelligence Agency (MİT), Türksat (Turkish communications satellites) and Gendarmerie General Commandership were among the places he remembers as the places he identified as coordinates. He put the colorful photocopies of the targets’ photographs on the “desk” in such a way that their coordinates are also visible. The coup plotter pilots going for the flights took these photocopies and stepped in the F-16s. They later went on to the stage of sending the coordinates to the fighter aircrafts in the air.
The operation at Akıncı Air Base on the night of the coup attempt was carried out on two fleets. The first of them was the 141st Fleet where the first lieutenant Macit and the pilots who were undertaking the flight missions were based. The 141st Fleet was the operational center. The aircrafts took off from here. Akıncı Air Base’s operations leader, Staff Colonel Ahmet Özçetin was situated here when the attempt began.
The chain of command center for both the Akıncı Base and the coup attempt was at the 143rd Fleet. The 141st Fleet is near Sincan’s southern point on a three kilometer long runway and the 143rd Fleet is on the northern point of the runway towards Kazan. The civilian executive cadre and generals of the insurrection, which included Adil Öksüz, directed the coup attempt all night from the 143rd Fleet.
The decisions made at the 143rd were forwarded to the 141st and later the aircrafts took off. The 141st Fleet Commander Lieutenant Colonel Hakan Karakuş who gave the last briefing to the pilots before the start of the coup attempt says, “The 141st Fleet is the performer, the 143rd Fleet is the decision-maker. The 143rd will prepare, the 141st will execute” while explaining the night’s flow. (Taken from the testimony of lieutenant pilot Adem Kırcı.)
Each time the authorities pushed the buttons from this headquarter for the F-16s it created terror in the air in Ankara until the morning with bombings and sonic explosions that broke the sound barriers.
“While he was identifying the coordinates, Colonel Ahmet Özçetin was asking someone in the 143rd Fleet and they were identifying the targets,” says Macit Müslim.
According to Macit’s testimony, at one point in the operation Colonel Özçetin said, “This way is costing us time, let’s go to the 143rd.” Macit and Özçetin together went to the 143rd Fleet.
It is understood from Macit’s testimony that, when they went to the 143rd Fleet, they saw a big hustle. Macit says, “Here, there were both civilians and soldiers. Five to 10 people in civilian clothing were continuously in contact with others through their phones. At the same time, it was clear they were coordinating the actions as seen from their body language. I also think Ahmet Özçetin transmitted the information and instructions he took from those civilians making the phone calls.” In his testimony, Macit also said he saw Adil Öksüz at the 143rd Fleet, whom he later realized who he actually was.
In the meantime, Lieutenant Ahmet Tosun took the task of transmitting the instructions coming from Colonel Özçetin to the aircrafts by radiophone. Macit says Lieutenant Tosun gave instructions to the flying aircraft such as, “parliament fire at will,” “make low altitude flight from Kızılay,” “Türksat fire at will.”
The events described in Macit’s statement match perfectly with the events that happened in Ankara on that night. To top it off, for the finale of the night, that is to say in attempt to bomb the front of the presidential palace, the last flight mission was given to Lieutenant Macit.
In fact, Lieutenant Macit was one of the officers who the coup plotters trusted the most and employed on various missions on the night of July 15-16, 2016. For example, one of these missions was transferring the special device in the cockpit loaded with cryptos to be used as intelligent ammunition to the pilots before the flight.
At around 6:30 a.m., there was one last mission given to him after bombing the front of the presidential palace–where 15 civilian citizens were martyred—and returning to the 141st Fleet. Staff Captain Mustafa Mete Kaygusuz gave the order, “There is a package nearby the tower, take them and bring them to Yuva 4.”
With “package,” they meant the nine air force generals apprehended together with the air force commander General Abidin Ünal from the Air Lieutenant General Mehmet Şanver’s daughter’s wedding party in Istanbul.
Upon Ünal’s apprehension, these generals were brought to the Akıncı Air Base by a helicopter after being kept in Istanbul until early in the morning. Macit says, “Within the framework of the task, we took the handcuffed men in suit in our vehicle and took to the ‘Yuva’ guesthouse.”
In the morning, at around 9:00 a.m., Macit left the fleet and went to his house at the Akıncı Base when hearing “Everyone is free.”
Müslim Macit finishes his statement like this, “I was a successful soldier… Although, I had known since early on that what would happen, I did not have the courage to go against it. I very much regret the fact that people have died because of these events. I am still ready to take on any mission on behalf of my country…”
As can be seen, Lieutenant Müslim Macit is still waiting for a mission on behalf of the country.