How did the coup process start?
The attempts of the FETO to overthrow Turkey’s legitimate government by illegal means began in 2012. The head of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) was summoned to court on 7 February of that year along with two other colleagues. This was the first move by FETO members within the judicial system and police against Turkey’s democratically elected government.
FETO also played a central role in the 2013 Gezi incidents which began as a protest relating to city planning but later became an attempt to overthrow the government. It was later uncovered that FETO elements within the police force ordered police officers to use violence against protesters which provoked the incidents.
The inability of both of these activities to shake the Turkish government resulted in the Gulenists upping the stakes. In December 2013, again by the use of illegal methods, FETO sought to undermine the legitimacy of the government with allegations of corruption. Their preferred method was the use of anonymous letters to the police which detailed alleged criminal behavior and the illegal wiretapping of government officials to be shared with the public. To implement their plans, they utilized their own members within the police and judicial bodies. All of this pointed to an attempted coup.
The coup attempt of 15 July was to be the last one in a number of attempts by FETO to overthrow the government. FETO was in the process of slowly being removed from positions in state institutions, the last being the army. It was for this reason the terrorist organizations decided to act before they were successfully discharged from the army.
What happed on that night?
In Ankara, the Presidential Compound was bombed three times by F-16s. Civilians in front of the complex was also targeted. 29 civilians were killed by putschist soldiers. The Turkish parliament was bombed as well eleven times by F-16s. Members of the parliament were forced to seek shelter in the basement. Police officers and parliamentary staff were wounded. The Ankara Police Department was bombed six times by helicopter and jets. The General Staff Headquarters was attacked and the Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar was taken hostage. Civilians who gathered outside the HQ were attacked by gunfire from helicopters. Putschist soldiers attempted to cut off internet and media up-links by attacking Turksat, Turkish provider of satellite communications. Turksat was bombed by jets and helicopters attacked civilians in the vicinity. Two Turksat employees who refused to meet the demands of the putschist soldiers were killed there. Other government offices such as the Gendarmerie Headquarters, Special Operations Headquarter and headquarters of MIT were also attacked.
Another important city is, of course, Istanbul. First they closed the Bosporus Bridge traffic by tanks and trucks. 30 civilians were killed by the putschist soldiers on the bridge. They also targeted Digiturk and attempted to seize media organizations such as public broadcaster, TRT, its English version TRT World and CNN Turk. A TRT anchorwoman was forced at gunpoint to read a statement on live air, while CNN Turk was temporarily taken off the air.
At that night, all airports were closed to aviation traffic by the putschist. Istanbul Ataturk Airport was temporarily seized by 58 putschist soldiers with tanks, trucks and jeeps.
Incidents in Marmaris district of Mugla Province may be the most serious one. With the intention of assassinating President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the hotel where he was staying was attacked by twenty nine putschist soldiers. The hotel was bombed by helicopter, resulting in the killing of two police officers.
At the dawn of 16 July, we have 250 people killed and over 2.000 wounded.
How many soldiers participated in the coup?
Over 30 military planes, 80 tanks and 40 military helicopter and hundreds of armoured vehicles were used. Putschist soldiers also used 3 military ships in the Marmara Sea. Overall, over 10.000 members of FETO, both civilian and military were directly participated in coup attempt.
Who was behind the 15 July Coup Attempt?
The infiltration of FETO into the Turkish Army stretches back over 40 years and has been documented numerous times by senior soldiers. After the designation of FETO as a terrorist organization in 2014, the government adopted a strategy of tackling the organization as a matter of national security.
Consequently, the military developed a strategy to remove FETO-linked officers from the ranks. The biggest blow to FETO soldiers was intended to be the Military Council meeting of August 2016 which had planned to formalize more discharges. This spurred FETO-linked officers to stage a coup less than a month before they were expected to be discharged.
Even on the night of 15 July, it was obvious that Fetullah Gulen and his disciples were behind this bloody attempt. Now, after a year of extensive administrative, criminal and judicial investigations we think we have a better grasp of what happened on July 15 and the perpetrator that was behind it. There are 78 ongoing court cases in 23 different provinces with regard to the perpetrators.
Prosecutors have gathered crucial evidence pointing to the unmistakable imprint of FETO behind the coup attempt.
For example, a number of FETÖ-affiliated civilians were present and they were giving orders to high-ranking officers in the Akıncılar Air Force Base, the center of operations of the coup plot.
Moreover, there are testimonies from thousands of officers confessing their affiliation with FETÖ.
The Turkish authorities have also managed to decode encrypted communication systems such as “Bylock”, used only by FETÖ members. Actually, that was the biggest breakthrough enabling the police to better identify FETÖ members who have infiltrated the state institutions and to illuminate their illegal activities.
What sort of organization is FETO?
Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) is an armed cult of fanatics led by the retired imam Fetullah Gulen. Gulen has been on the Ministry of Interior’s most wanted terrorist list since 28 October 2015 as the alleged leader of the FETO. It is an extensive organization with huge investments in education, media and economic interest in a wide range of areas. In addition, FETO has also systemically sought to infiltrate the Turkish state with the explicit purpose of overthrowing the constitutional order and installing Gulen as the spiritual leader. Gulen is believed to be Messiah by his followers and his orders are obeyed to the letter. Despite FETO’s attempts in the international arena to show itself as a representative of moderate Islam, it has been guilty of severe human rights abuses and has no qualms about the use of violence. The construction of this image, which has been particularly successful in the west, does not negate Gulen’s own radical views as expressed in his sermons.
How was the reaction of international community to this bloody coup attempt?
There were different reactions to the coup attempt. Some countries waited too long to make statements against this bloody attempt.
I wish to express yet again our deepest gratitude to the Government of Turkmenistan for their support in the very early stages of the chain of events. They also offered support to Turkish citizens living in Turkmenistan who might have been adversely affected from this coup attempt.
Please comment on removing thousands of people from the public employment.
FETO has been following a strategy of infiltration into the state for 40 years. They carry this out under the guise of running schools, cultural centers and civil society organizations. The organization has constructed a parallel structure, in essence a deep state, within the state machinery. They further use this structure to get rid of their opponents or anyone who constitutes a threat to their organization.
Since 2014, the government has attempted to clean the state of FETO members. However, the coup attempt showed how strong the FETO still was within the state machinery. The various factions of the organization, with arms in the state, army, business and academia were all acting in cooperation with each other. It is revealing that FETO member responsible for the organization within the armed forces was academic Adil Oksuz of Sakarya University.
Furthermore, there is an exam requirement for those who want to work as a civil servant in Turkey. FETO has been involved in a scheme to steal the answer keys of the public personnel selection examination. These answers were then given to its members to be selected in a higher critical government position. /// nCa