Muhammet Tanju Poshor, a decorated colonel and the head of operations at the Kosovo Force (KFOR), a NATO-led international peacekeeping force in Kosovo, was detained while on leave of absence in Turkey and brutally tortured for days by Turkish authorities who wanted to extract a false confession.
Poshor arrived in Ankara on July 14, 2016 from his post at KFOR with a plan to take his family back to Kosovo, where he had rented a house. He was ordered by the deputy chief of staff of the Turkish Armed Forces to take up a short assignment as an observer at a military drill that was scheduled for the next day. At the last minute, the drill was changed to an emergency deployment to respond to the threat of a terrorist attack at the Turkish Radio and Television Broadcasting Corporation (TRT) building by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Shortly after their arrival at the TRT building, the troops came under fire from an unidentified group of civilians who were mobilized to gather there by the government. He was shot in the back while trying to diffuse the tension and rushed to the hospital.
Early on the morning of July 16, 2016 he was unlawfully detained in the hospital while in a hospital gown and about to have surgery for a gunshot wound in his back. The unidentified people stormed his hospital room, started beating him while his back had an open wound and put him in handcuffs without even identifying themselves or advising him of the charges against him.
In court testimony Muhammet Tanju Poshor exposed horrible torture ordeal he suffered under detention:Muhammet_Tanju_Poshor_torture
He was taken to an unofficial detention site in a sports hall where close to 1,000 people were kept in what Poshor described as Nazi camp”-like conditions. For 10 days he was subjected to torture and abuse in this hall, where victims were denied food and water for days, not allowed to use the bathroom facilities, beaten regularly by guards and forced to remain in stress positions such as kneeling on a hard floor for hours while handcuffed from behind.
Poshor was separated from the group, blindfolded and taken to a room where three teams tried various torture tactics on him for 10 days. “The torture method applied by the first interrogation group was to beat me up, make me suffer by punching sensitive parts of my body and deliberately working especially on muscles until they were torn, Poshor told the court in a subsequent trial.
Another group of torturers took over the shift on the second day, trying to make him to sign a false confession. He was electrically shocked until he passed out. “When I was awake, I got used to the pain, but I still haven’t gotten used to the smell of burnt flesh in a year and a half. This smell also disturbed my torturers and occasionally caused them to vomit,” Poshor said of the terrible memories at the hands of his torturers.
A man who appeared to be the head of the guards came and told the torture team, ‘Don’t try too hard, bag him and leave him.” When Poshor heard what the chief said, he thought they were going to kill him and put his lifeless body in a body bag. But he was wrong. “I learned that bagging was another torture technique, not killing. They put me on the floor back first, then a heavy, muscled person sat on my chest, pressed my arms with his two knees, put a bag on my face and pressed hard, while someone else started squeezing and twisting my testicles. I don’t know how many seconds this lasted but I really learned the meaning of pain. I was out of breath and fluid seeped out of every part of my body. I swallowed some of my vomit because my face was sealed with a bag,” the colonel told the panel of judges in a hearing on May 5, 2018 at the Ankara 19th High Criminal Court.
Turkish Prosecutor included false statements in the indictment to incriminate Muhammet Tanju Poshor:Muhammet_Tanju_Poshor_false_statement
When the torture session ended, the interrogators asked him to tell everything or face a new round of torture. He said he had already told them what he knew, but his statement was not the one the police were looking for. Another round of the same kind of torture took place. After a terrible ordeal that lasted 10 days, he was taken to a prosecutor’s office, accompanied by one of his torturers. He saw a bar-appointed attorney for the first time waiting by the door of the prosecutor’s office. The lawyer asked him to not say anything about the torture. “He said, ‘If we talk about torture now, they’ll continue to torture you, so let’s not talk about it.’ They didn’t let the lawyer into the prosecutor’s office, so I went in alone,” Poshor said.
The prosecutor told him to confess to being a member of a terrorist group, a reference to government critic the Gülen movement, which was accused by the government of being behind the failed coup. The movement strongly denies accusations, and the government has failed to present solid evidence to support its allegations. “He said if I confessed to being a member of the organization, he would secure my release at the first hearing or he would hold me for another month at MIT [Turkey’s notorious intelligence agency]. That was his statement, and I understood that the prosecutor knew about my torture,” Poshor remarked.
The colonel’s recollection of his conversation with the prosecutor suggests that the unofficial detention site was run by the intelligence agency and that police were also there to help in running the center. It was clear that the prosecutor knew about the MIT torture site and was threatening the victim to go along with the government narrative by falsifying his statement.
“Then he [the prosecutor] said, ‘You knew you’d be tortured, so why didn’t you commit suicide?’” he recalled the prosecutor as saying to him in his office. He leveled more threats and sent him to a detention hall in the courthouse. Poshor thought he had caught a break as no one tortured him there. His relief did not last long. Only two or three hours later, he was taken from there and put in a room where a group of three or four men started beating him. The goal was to make him agree to the false statement in line with the prosecutor’s wishes. He was forced to sign papers and later referred to court for a 30-second arraignment before a formal arrest order was issued by a judge.
The prosecutor who indicted him later falsely stated that Poshor was detained on July 23, 2016 when he was in fact dragged from his hospital bed early in the morning of July 16. According to Poshor, this was not simply an oversight but rather a deliberate attempt to clear the authorities of violating his rights and cover up the torture evidence. That was not the only factually incorrect statement included in the indictment by the prosecutor. The prosecutor claimed that he confessed to having a conversation at noon on July 14 with Muhsin Kutsi Barış, commander of the Guard Regiment, in his office. However, at the time the prosecutor claimed Poshor had spoken with the commander, he was still in Kosovo. His flight landed in Ankara at 16:00 hours.
His acceptance of a direct order from his commanding officer, then-Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler, currently chief of general staff, put him in the middle of the chaotic July 15 events. Güler’s order was for him to accompany the Presidential Guard Regiment on July 15as an observer. He was supposed to compile a report of his observations and submit it to Güler. Although he explained this during the interrogation, the prosecutor removed that part of his statement from the indictment because that would have incriminated Güler as well and the government wanted to protect him due to his involvement in the false flag operation.
Muhammet Tanju Poshor was targeted for an assassination, but he survived:Muhammet_Tanju_Poshor_kill_order
When Poshor reported that he was ordered to observe the military drill, the commander of the Guard Regiment said he would let him know when the drill started. At around 21:00-21:30 hours, the commander told Poshor that he had received new orders from the General Staff to send reinforcements to state broadcaster TRT in order to secure the building against a possible terrorist attack by ISIS. He did not find the new orders strange given the fact that ISIS and the PKK had carried out terror attacks in the Turkish capital before, and intelligence alerts were arriving regularly to warn the military against possible attacks.
Col. Poshor explained in court that the regiment took a bomb-sniffing dog when they were deployed to TRT and said if this was a coup, the regiment would not have needed a bomb-sniffing dog. When they arrived at the TRT building, he thought he was observing a security operation to protect the building against terror threat. As the troops took their positions inside and outside the building, a group of 40 police officers came and started shooting at them. He went to talk to the police chief and explained to him why they were deployed. The chief told the colonel that they had been ordered to remove the soldiers from the building. It is clear that the false flag planners had mobilized military and police units with completely opposite orders while calling on civilians to gather there.
In order to diffuse the tension and clear the conflicting orders, Poshor said he would take care of the removal of the troops given enough time and returned to talk to the commanders. While they were speaking in a guard building at the entrance, all of a sudden they came under helicopter fire. Many were injured from shrapnel fragments. Posher was also among the wounded, but his injury was different than the others. “I wasn’t hit by shrapnel. The wound on my back was a 9 millimeter bullet wound, not from the gunfire of the cops, I was shot by one of the civilians in that crowd, and I was deliberately shot by someone who used the helicopter fire as cover,” he said.
The full court transcript of the defense testimony of Col. Muhammet Tanju Poshor:Tanju_Poshor_statement_full
He revealed in court that he later learned that Zekai Aksakallı, the commander of Special Forces who worked with the Turkish intelligence agency in executing the false flag coup bid, unlawfully ordered his execution. Aksakallı had nothing to do with the Presidential Guard Regiment; yet he was very much involved in steering events at the TRT building. Aksakallı was told by his aide that Poshor had been killed when he was being transferred to the hospital in an ambulance. In order to shape public perception, Aksakallı’s team even leaked the murder to journalist Müyesser Yıldız, who worked for the neo-nationalist Oda TV, which ran the fake murder story on its website. Poshor claimed he was one of three senior officers who were targeted for execution that night by Aksakallı.
Col. Poshor, a decorated officer who was wounded twice in 1994 and 1995 in clashes with militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in south-eastern Hakkari province and northern Iraq’s Kurdistan region and received medals for outstanding bravery, suffers from a loss of hearing and vision as a result of the torture he endured in Turkey.
In the coup trial Poshor denied accusations that he was involved in the putschist attempt and testified that he was complying with a direct order from Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Güler. He asked that Güler be compelled take the stand so his lawyer could cross-examine him, but Güler never appeared in court.
The prosecutor asked the court to sentence him to a two consecutive life sentences. The case is still pending.