Captain says army chief was leader of July 15 coup council

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Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and Maj. Gen. Mehmet Dişli seen together on July 16, 2016.

A captain who is standing trial on coup charges in the southeastern province of Gaziantep has said one of his commanders told him on the night of the failed coup attempt on July 15 that Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar was the leader of a coup council known as the Peace at Home Council (Yurtta Sulh Konseyi).

A coup declaration was read out on state-run TV on the night of July 15 on behalf of the  members of the Peace at Home Council, who carried out the coup attempt. There has been much controversy about the members of this council as they have not been identified so far.

Capt. Şamil Topal said in the first hearing of his trial in which a total of 35 officers are being tried on coup charges that his regiment commander said on the night of July 15 the coup was being staged by the Peace at Home Council, that the council was led by Akar and that martial law would be declared at 3 a.m.

The coup attempt, which claimed the lives of more than 240 people and injured a thousand others, is known to have taken place outside of the chain of command. Gen. Akar was held hostage by the coup plotters for hours. There is widespread suspicion that Akar was involved in the coup and had prior knowledge of it.

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