Turkish journalist Levent Gültekin said during an interview last week that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had information about a planned coup attempt prior to the evening of July 15 and had prepared an address to the nation video to be released at the time of the attempt, but his plan failed since the aides who were supposed to deliver the video to TV stations deserted him that night.
Speaking with journalist Ruşen Çakır during an interview for medyascope.tv on Oct. 27, Gültekin said, “That is why he hastily went live on CNN Türk via Periscope.”
Gültekin also claimed that most of Erdoğan’s aides and the heads of state-run broadcaster TRT and the Anadolu news agency deserted him and were not reachable during a raid by rogue soldiers on the TRT building on the night of July 15.
“I was told by one of Erdoğan’s men who is very close him that the aide who was supposed to give the recorded video to TRT disappeared with the video until 12 that night,” he said.
While the events on the night of the coup attempt have yet to be fully uncovered, Erdoğan has repeatedly complained about an intelligence failure, saying he only learned about the putsch from his brother-in-law on the night of July 15.
Erdoğan also criticized National Intelligence Organization (MİT) head Hakan Fidan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar for failing to inform him about the coup attempt.
Erdoğan’s contradictory statements concerning when exactly he first heard about coup attempt turned into a heated debate among opposition circles after the coup.
Although the government based its accusations of US-based Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the Gülen movement, as the alleged mastermind of the coup attempt on the initial testimony of Akar, the opposition’s offer to hear to him as well as Fidan as witnesses was rejected by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies on the parliamentary commission that was established to investigate the foiled coup attempt.