Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chairman Şaban Dişli, brother of Maj. Gen. Mehmet Dişli, one of the key suspects in a trial concerning a failed coup in Turkey last year, on Thursday resigned as a top adviser to party Chairman and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
According to the Hürriyet daily, Dişli submitted his resignation to party administration saying, “I hereby resign from this sacred duty [as adviser] in order to avoid attracting criticism for my party and Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”
After Dişli’s appointment as a top adviser to Erdoğan in late August, AKP deputies who were informed about the appointment during an official reception to mark Victory Day on Aug. 30 were initially bewildered and tried to confirm the accuracy of the information, Hürriyet columnist Abdülkadir Selvi wrote on Sept. 4.
Selvi said some of the deputies referred to the principle of individual criminal responsibility in reference to Dişli’s coup suspect brother, while others argued against it, asking why it is only Şaban Dişli who is benefiting from the principle.
According to security sources Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi 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.
Denying the accusations against him, Dişli claimed he was with Gen. Akar from the beginning of the coup until the end and that Gen. Akar might have misunderstood him under the influence of incidents.
A total of 486 people accused of taking part in the coup attempt last summer 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.