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Columnist claims there are at least 400 fake ‘July 15 veterans’ in Ankara

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Müyesser Yıldız, a columnist for the odatv news website, has claimed that there are at least 400 people in Ankara who are pretending to have been injured in a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 and are receiving state benefits.

In her last article on Odatv on Thursday, Yıldız said she found out that the Ankara Social Services Provincial Directorate, which is tied to the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, has cancelled the payments of veterans’ benefits of around 400 people.

Since July 15, 2016 there has been widespread speculation that some people who were injured before this date obtained medical reports showing that they were injured during the commotion on the night of July 15. Around 250 people were killed while more than 1,000 others were injured in the coup attempt, which was suppressed overnight.

“This figure is only from Ankara. When we take the cases in other provinces into account, it looks that there are many ‘fake veterans.’ … Two-and-a-half years have passed since July 15, and the state is just now understanding that it has been ‘deceived’,” Yıldız wrote, calling the situation “scandalous.”

In April 2018 it was discovered that Şerife Boz, a woman who reportedly drove to İstanbul’s Taksim Square with a truckload of youths in a bid to join public resistance against the military coup, came to the venue one day after the coup attempt when everything was under control.

Alparslan Cambaz, the son of victim Mustafa Cambaz, announced at the time that families of the victims of July 15 were preparing to sue Boz.

According to Cambaz, Boz did not drive to Taksim on the night of July 15; she just posed for a photo sitting in the driver’s seat, thus producing fake news.

A statement made by Saliha Sultan, the Anadolu news agency photojournalist who took Boz’s picture in Taksim Square, also came as confirmation of Cambaz’s claims.

Sultan tweeted that she took Boz’s photo on July 16, 2016, one day after the coup attempt and that the detail was completely suppressed.

She said she was surprised by Boz’s remarks in the media, which presented the photo as from July 15, but did not mention it to more than a few people.

In the wake of these allegations, Boz claimed that the families of the July 15 victims were jealous of her and that was why they were making such allegations against her.

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