New details on tipoff to MİT on July 15
Daily Yeni Şafak had a headline story on May 20 by Osman Ozgan with the title: “Here is that major’s statement,” triggering new debates. We knew that a major, identified only as O.K., personally went to the headquarters of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) in Ankara’s Yenimahalle district on the afternoon of July 15, 2016 to warn them about the preparations of the coup. What we didn’t know was that one month later Major O.K. gave a statement to the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office on August 11 about the incident.
It is thought-provoking that his statement has not been used, up to now, in any of the indictments drafted regarding July 15.
The informer major was first dismissed from the army after the failed coup attempt, then was returned to his post; later he became a staff member of MİT.
One of the striking segments of the major’s statement is that he went to the MİT headquarters at 2:20 p.m.; he was interrogated by two people at around 2:30 p.m. Then, the interrogators became three, then four. There is about one and a half hours between the start of the interview and the conveying of this knowledge to the Chief of General Staff’s Office.
Major O.K. told the prosecutor that he was called to duty on July 13 while he was vacationing in Akçay. When he arrived at his office, he was told that there was going to be a night flight. Major Deniz Aldemir told him, “I will go and get Hakan Fidan [MİT Undersecretary] with a helicopter. You will fly with pilot lieutenant colonel Murat Polat. There will be bloodshed.”
In his statement, he said that when they asked him what was going to happen in MİT he said, “I told them that this may be a major activity; moreover it could be a coup activity. Because they have said ‘there will be bloodshed,’ this was not a good-willed activity.”
In earlier news stories, it was told that the informer had only said that Fidan was going to be kidnapped; that there was no clear information about the coup attempt.
MİT officers asked O.K. to call Aldemir and Polat by phone right there. In his call with Aldemir, the informer was told, “Force commander will be here, you should also be here.”
Another piece of interesting information is that MİT suggested wiring the major and sending him back. After some hesitation, he agreed. He left MİT headquarters and entered the Army Aviation School Command in Güvercinlik. There, he checked that there were no night flights. He called his MİT contact, who was now codenamed “pastry cook,” and told his contact that there were no night flights scheduled.
O.K. did not see any extraordinary activity upon his return to the base and reported the inactivity to MİT. But he was soon called by Major Aldemir, and was told, “We have a flight, right now.” They went to the general purpose battalion waiting room.
Major O.K. saw that some personnel were gathering there; some ready to fly, actually some of them were civilians. All the helicopters were ready outside. A commander said “We will fly the helicopters and go to Akıncı [air base].” There were armored vests, night vision glasses, arms and ammunition on the table, according to the statement.
When O.K. saw this suspicious activity, he went out and called “pastry cook” in MİT, telling him about the situation. He told him they would proceed to Akıncı. The pastry cook told him to immediately leave the barracks and not participate in the flight. He was told to go to the spot where he was dropped off to be picked up by them. Major O.K. walked past the main entrance, took the first minibus to go to the meeting point. MİT members came and picked him up. Because there were clashes, they did not go to the headquarters of MİT; they drove in Ankara for two hours.
The accompanying MİT member asked O.K. to call his friends and learn about their activities. O.K. called Murat Bolat but was insulted and cursed because he did not participate in the coup attempt. This call was at around 00:30 a.m. MİT officials then took him to his home.
According to the indictment, Army Commander Gen. Salih Zeki Çolak left the Army Aviation Command at 9:08 p.m. The Fourth Corps Commander Gen. Metin Gürak left the command after a while at 9:36 p.m.
If we assume that the military activities in the barracks started after these two commanders left, it is not possible that O.K. would have observed and warned the MİT of the coup preparation activities in the base any time before 9:36 p.m.
Meanwhile, the putschist officers had entered Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar’s office at 9:00 p.m. and had incapacitated him. General Çolak, who departed the Army Aviation and went to the headquarters of the General Staff, was caught at his entrance.