Troops sent to grab Erdoğan told target was ‘terrorist’
İZMİR - Anadolu AgencyPro-coup soldiers, who attacked a hotel which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his family were vacationing in during July 15 deadly coup attempt, said they were ordered to “capture an important terrorist
Speaking on the condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, security sources said on July 19 that soldiers with suspected links to the failed deadly coup attempt were interrogated in Aegean province of izmir on July 18.
The soldiers told interrogators that while 40 specially trained soldiers had been airlifted into an airbase with the order to attack a resort in southwestern Marmaris where Erdoğan was staying, the Aegean army command had given a separate order to not help pro-coup soldiers.
But Staff Colonel Ramazan Elmas, commander of the airbase in İzmir province, let the troops fly away from the base.
An unidentified amount of soldiers revealed during questioning that they were informed in mid-air about the military coup, which sought to overthrow Turkey's government.
It is unclear how many soldiers proceeded with the attack, which killed Erdoğan's two bodyguards, despite the warnings of there being a military coup.
Erdoğan told CNN in an exclusive interview on July 18 that if he had stayed in the hotel for 10 or 15 more minutes, he would have been killed or captured.
After the failed attack, troops fled to the woods in the area, the sources said.
On July 18, gendarmeries in southwest Turkey seized weapons and military equipment thought to have been used by the pro-coup troops who stormed Erdoğan's hotel.