July 15 and the Akıncı Base: The mystery of the man with the ponytail
The Gülenist civil executive cadre, who played a key role in conducting the July 15 coup during the night at the Akıncı Base, was apprehended in the morning near the base. Their recount of “not being informed of the coup” poses a serious problem of credibility.
For instance, from this group, Harun Biniş, who is a Bylock user, says he did not watch television the night of July 15 in his testimony to the prosecutor and claims that when his wife said “something about the coup,” he told her “that can’t be possible.”
It appears that residing in Keçiören – a neighborhood in the capital – Biniş did not hear the explosions and the huge noise created by the F16’s in Ankara’s airspace that broke the sound barrier.
“I have vertigo; I can’t hear in one of my ears. I did not hear the bombings or any other attacks in Ankara. I did not look on the TV. Since I did not believe a coup would take place, I did not take the events too seriously and went to sleep,” says Biniş.
Businessman Kemal Batmaz, another suspect the gendarme caught together with Biniş, claims he found out about the coup attempt on the morning of July 16 when he met Harun Biniş at 8:00 a.m. He says he left Istanbul Friday night to meet Biniş Saturday morning to look for “estates.”
According to his testimony to the prosecutor, Batmaz planned to go to Ankara and went to the bus terminal in Kavacık in the Anatolian side of Istanbul. However, he came across someone who told him that a person he knows “will go by private car to Ankara and can take you if you pay for the fuel.”
“Then, the person whom I knew as named Ahmet, but did not know his mobile number or identity, left me near Ankara with a gray colored Toyota. I would recognize this person if I see him, but I don’t know who he is,” says Batmaz.
In this case, it appears that when Batmaz went Friday, the night of July 15, to the Kavacık bus terminal right at the exit of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, he did not notice the putschists controlling the bridge and the skirmishes that took place.
According to their testimonies, neither of them was in the Akıncı Base on the night of July 15. Yet, the footage on the security cameras in the 143rd fleet’s headquarters in the Akıncı Base does not confirm Batmaz and Biniş. The same situation is valid for Nurettin Oruç, the other member of the group apprehended nearby.
For instance, in the footage of the camera located in the corridor of the 143rd fleet in the morning of July 15, between 03:17:53 and 03:17:58, a civilian with long hair is seen going in the room and leaving the room and walking in the corridor between 03:20:10 and 03:20:23.
With the photograph of Harun Biniş taken later by the police, it became certain he is the same person with the civilian in the camera footage.
Yet, Biniş objects that the person in the footage is him and says, “I did not go to the base.”
Biniş, does not object that his hair was long. “My hair was long when I entered prison. In the picture taken in the Ankara security department, my hair was long too; it came to my shoulder.”
Speaking of the hair issue, we need to notice another point. Another guest at the Akıncı Base that night was Air General Kubilay Selçuk, the commander of the Çiğli Airbase who took a military flight from İzmir and came to Ankara at noon on July 15, with the aim of “doing training work.” When (Chief of General Staff) Gen. Hulusi Akar was taken to the Akıncı Base, Selçuk was among those greeting him in the room of the commander of the base and was seen around Akıncı the whole night.
One of the most interesting points in Selçuk’s testimony is the proposal made to him by a person in civil clothing with long hair.
Look at how it is recounted by Selçuk:
“When I entered the room, a person with civil clothing and long hair told me that the person to make the presentation did not come and asked if I could read the document about the presentation in the rostrum. I said ‘let me look.’ I went to the rostrum and when I read the first paragraph of the page out loud, I understood it was a declaration. Then, without reading the rest I told the civilian with long hair, ‘I have neither seen this nor did you give it to me. Get out of here.’ I then went back to the office of the base commander. I meant to ask him for a car to leave the base. A while later, the door opened and Gen. Hulusi Akar entered. It was apparent from his face that he was nervous and angry,” stated Selçuk.
The person with civil clothing and long hair, who asked Selçuk to read the document, is in the footage on the security cameras of the 143rd fleet and was caught near the base in the morning saying he is looking for estate property – could that be Harun Biniş?
The document Selçuk was asked to read by the long-haired man – could that be the declaration that the putschists were planning to make Gen. Akar read from TRT had they been able to convince him?