Turkish coup soldiers were ordered to shoot at will: Indictment
ANKARAThe soldiers who participated in the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt were ordered to shoot at will, according to an indictment prepared by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office regarding coup activities at the Akıncı Air Base.
The 4,658-page indictment, which includes a total of 481 suspects, was sent to court on March 31.
The Akıncı Air Base was used as the center of the failed coup attempt on the night of the foiled coup. Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and force commanders were taken to the base and held captive by pro-coup soldiers. However, they were all later freed in a special forces operation in the early hours of July 16, 2016. Its runways were also bombed to prevent F-16s used by the coup plotters from taking off.
The indictment included conversations between jet pilots and the air base during the thwarted coup, widely believed to have been masterminded by the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
According to the indictment, pilots received orders from Ahmet Tosun with the 141st fleet of Akıncı Air Base. When he was informed that a vehicle was driving slowly, Tosun told the pilot to shoot.
“We are hitting moving targets, you can fire at will,” Tosun said.
Tosun also ordered the bombing of the Gölbaşı Special Forces Command in Ankara. In the same conversation regarding the special forces command, Tosun ordered the shooting of another helicopter after the pilot informed him of its presence.
The indictment also said Tosun ordered suspects Oğuz Alper Emrah and İlker Hazinedar to determine the plane of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and take action against it.
“The plane you are going to prevent is probably a presidential plane, it will have force. It’s a giant plane that has presidential force,” Tosun told Emrah.
Furthermore, Tosun, who ordered the Air and Naval Forces commands to be bombed, also said that 10 bombs could be dropped in the green area of the Turkish parliament.
“It’s not important whether there is anybody in the green area; you are free to open fire,” Tosun said.
Asked by pilot Uğur Uzunoğlu as to whether he should drop a bomb in front of the parliament, Tosun ordered him to only conduct a “MACH passage.”
Tosun also asked for all windows to be broken by flying low on the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters and the Presidential Palace in Beştepe.
According to the indictment, suspect Harun Biniş was ordered to be one of the civilian organizers of the coup attempt after the election results of Nov. 1, 2015, general elections became certain. The indictment said Biniş was apprehended at the Akıncı Air Base and conveyed the decisions taken at the base to coup soldiers all over Turkey with a WhatsApp group called “Peace at Home.”
Moreover, Biniş was among those who ordered the parliament, Köprülü intersection near the presidential palace, Ankara police headquarters, Aviation Department, the Special Operations Department and the TÜRKSAT building to be bombed, according to the indictment.
Meanwhile, the indictment said two sons of Hasan Balcı, who was in the Akıncı Air Base during the foiled coup and who was arrested three months after the coup attempt, also participated in the coup attempt. The brother of one of the civilian managers of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), Hasan Çiçek, was at the air base, it also said.
Upon seeing the footage of himself in the 143rd fleet of the air base, Balcı denied charges against him.
“I don’t accept that I was in the Akıncı Air Base on the night of coup,” he said, while it was determined that Adil Öksüz, the “Air Force imam” of FETÖ, talked to Balcı three times on the phone on July 17, 2016.
According to the indictment, one of Balcı’s sons, Halil Burak Balcı, arrived at the air base, while his other son, Gökhan Balcı, participated in the coup in civilian clothes at the General Staff Headquarters. A photo of him in civilian clothes while holding a weapon was included in the indictment.
Furthermore, the indictment said Gülen planned to arrive in Turkey on July 25, 2016, if the coup had been successful and planned to stay at a building in the Akıncı Air Base.
The indictment consisting of 570 files named Gülen as the prime suspect and Öksüz and Kemal Batmaz as the second and third suspects, respectively.
The prosecutor has sought a total of 303 aggravated life sentences for 45 figures that were listed as leaders of FETÖ, including Öksüz.