A colonel who was hailed as a hero for standing up to a failed coup attempt in 2016 was dismissed from the Turkish Armed Forces under the last government decree issued under a state of emergency before it was lifted in July, Odatv columnist Müyesser Yıldız reported on Wednesday.
The colonel, identified only by his initials M.Y., was reported to have saved the commanders who were being held hostage on Akıncı Airbase on the night of the coup attempt, and just five months ago he was heard as a prosecution witness as part of an investigation into the Special Forces Command, Yıldız underlined.
In his testimony on March 12 M.Y. had claimed that during the coup attempt he had brought order to the Special Forces Command as well as to the Special Air Regiment Command upon instructions from his commanders. Afterwards, he had received orders to move to Akıncı Airbase and liberate the officers held hostage by the putschists.
Yıldız pointed out that the colonel’s version of the story was also supported by other evidence, such as reports prepared by the Special Forces Command that were acknowledged by the courts prosecuting the coup attempt.
“We do not know why he was dismissed. Though probably based on a statement from some informant or because of involvement in one of the payphone-related investigations.” Yıldız said.
There have been numerous similar reports detailing how military members who were initially reported to have played a heroic role during the coup attempt were subsequently dismissed, and in some cases arrested.
It was reported last week by a pro-government newspaper that a pilot who had escorted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s plane on the night of the coup attempt was arrested along with his pilot brother.
Drawing attention to the abundance of such cases and citing some of these examples, Yıldız said, “Two years have gone by since the coup attempt and instead of being clarified and settled, matters have become even more complicated.”
Yıldız ended her column by pointing out another aspect of the issue: “What will happen to the reports and testimony contributed by these ‘heroes of yesterday’?”