Maj. Gen. Mehmet Dişli, one of the key suspects in a trial concerning a failed coup in Turkey last year and brother of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chairman Şaban Dişli, said on Friday that he was taken to Akıncı Airbase in Ankara at gunpoint just as Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar was, CNN Türk reported.
Denying the accusations against him, Dişli said: “I experienced the same fate as Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, and I was taken to Akıncı at gunpoint. There I worked as a secretary for the chief of general staff. I neither intermediated between anyone nor put pressure on the chief to participate in the coup attempt.”
Security sources claimed Akar was ordered by his private secretary, Maj. Gen. Dişli, to sign a coup declaration at gunpoint and read it out to the public. Upon his refusal to do so, a belt was tied around his neck and he was physically forced. The sources argue that force commanders were also held captive by their pro-coup secretaries and guards.
According to a t24 news website report on Friday, Dişli claimed he was with Gen. Akar from the beginning of the coup until to the end and that Gen. Akar might have misunderstood him under the influence of incidents.
Former Col. Uğur Kapan, who flew Gen. Akar and Maj. Gen. Dişli from Akıncı Airbase to Çankaya Palace during the failed coup, implied in court that Gen. Akar was part of the coup attempt.
“Akar said: ‘We acted early, we should have waited. We are disgraced’,” said Kapan during a hearing at the Ankara 17th High Criminal Court, where 155 suspects including three civilians were in attendance in relation to what happened at the Army Aviation Command during the coup attempt.
Underlining that Maj. Gen. Dişli got in the helicopter with the permission of Gen. Akar, Kapan also said there were no scratches or signs of alleged torture caused by the putschists on Dişli’s neck when he boarded the aircraft.
Saying that he was exposed to heavy torture during his detention at police headquarters, Kapan also said his previous testimony was taken under torture by the police and prosecutors. Accordingly he recanted his testimony that he saw Adil Öksüz, one of the prime civilian suspects in the coup attempt, at Akıncı Airbase.
A total of 486 people accused of taking part in the coup attempt are standing trial. The suspects, who were thought to have received orders from Akıncı Airbase, were allegedly plotting to assassinate Erdoğan on the night of the coup attempt.
According to the Turkish government, Akıncı Airbase, northwest of Ankara, served as the headquarters for plotters, and the orders to bomb Parliament and overthrow Erdoğan were sent out from there.