Recordings of Turkey’s coup night were burned by putschists: Indictment

Recordings of Turkey’s coup night were burned by putschists: Indictment

Recordings of Turkey’s coup night were burned by putschists: Indictment

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The indictment regarding events on the night of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt at the General Staff Headquarters in Ankara, where senior commanders were taken captive, has said soldiers attempting the coup burned memory disks, including recordings of what happened at the HQ, after realizing the coup had been unsuccessful.

The joint indictment submitted to an Ankara court on March 3 on the July 2016 coup attempt revealed that the suspects accused of managing the coup attempt from the General Staff Headquarters - brigadier Mehmet Partigöç, staff colonel Orhan Yıkılkan and rear admiral Sinan Sürer - left the barracks at 03:50 on the morning of July 16. 

“At 05:10 a.m., Gökhan Eski and Ahmet İlhan Ayşan entered the system room of the image-viewing center belonging to the headquarters. At about 5:30 p.m., it was understood that the power line supplying eight IP cameras in the headquarters was disabled, and the imaging and camera recordings were turned off,” the indictment read. 

“It was determined that at 06:11 a.m., Ahmet İlhan Ayşan, Bünyamin Tuner, Emin Anar, Recep Özkan and İsmail Aydın brought bags and boxes, including storage units where the images of the General Staff Headquarters building were recorded, to Ayyıldız Street, where the tanks were parked. They then crushed the units under the tanks. At 07:03, it was understood that crushed storage units were brought to the filling station and burned there,” the indictment added. 

‘The coup was to begin on July 16 at 03:00’

The indictment states that the notes, including the abduction of the Second Chief of the General Staff Yaşar Gürel, were found in a shoe after a search of Major Mehmet Akkurt’s house.  

“According to the plan note seized in the shoe during the house search at Akkurt’s house, it can be understood that the coup attempt was planned to start on July 16, 2016 at 03:00, and that he was told that he was tasked within the team to abduct Yaşar Güler, and that the suspect accepted this duty,” the indictment read.  

Meeting on appointments under the name of “Supreme Military Council”

It also alleged that Colonel Cemil Turhan, a member of the coup attempt’s central “Peace in the Nation Council,” presided over an “evaluation meeting of the suspects on July 15, before the coup attempt, regarding the personnel on the organization’s appointment list for the Supreme Military Council.”

It claimed in the indictment that Erdem Eraslan, the suspected staff captain, also participated in this meeting and because of the fact that the implementation of the coup was brought forward, Turhan announced the end of the meeting and informed its participants that the attempt started.

‘They shot civilians’

It was also stated that Abdurrahim Aksoy, head of security for Gen. Yaşar Güler, along with Rear Admiral Sinan Sürer and Major Gökhan Balcı, fired at civilians who had gone to the General Staff HQ to block the coup attempt. Two civilians lost their lives in these clashes, according to the indictment.

Profiling notes within General Staff

The indictment also referred to a file seized after the search of a room in the General Staff Headquarters including “11-page profiling notes,” which included the names of various personnel, their political opinions, their religious sect, and their ethnicity.