A case involving the bombing of the Turkish Parliament in 2016, allegedly by coup plotters according to the government narrative, fell apart in court when the defendants took the stand and poked holes in the prosecutor’s allegations.
The bombing of the nation’s parliament building, an unprecedented move that made no sense and lacked a motive, appears to have been staged by elements of the intelligence agency under orders from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as part of a plot to sideline legislative and judicial oversight and transform Turkey into an authoritarian regime run by one man and his inner circle.
Some likened parliament’s bombing to the Reichstag fire, an arson attack on the German parliament in 1933, which helped the Nazis consolidate their grip on the government and paved the way for the rise of Adolf Hitler. The Turkish president used the attempt as a pretext to purge and/or jail nearly 90 percent of all generals and admirals as well as some 30 percent of judges and prosecutors and staffed vacancies with partisans. He also usurped legislative powers to a great extent by transforming the parliamentary democracy into an imperial-like presidential system with effectively no check on his powers.
Conflicting expert reports, inconsistency in the timeline of events, ambiguous flight information data, missing crucial recordings, hastily conducted trial proceedings, suppression of evidence sought by the defense and an obvious mismatch between damage to the impact site and the type of bombs allegedly used all pointed in the the direction of a false flag plot orchestrated by the Turkish government.
What is more, the fact that police tortured combat pilots and threatened their families in order to force them to sign false statements of complicity in the bombings lent further credence to the view that the botched putschist attempt on July 15, 2016 was in fact a clandestine plot concocted by Erdoğan and his cronies.
For many veteran observers of Turkish politics, it made no sense that the alleged coup plotters would bomb parliament in the first place, something that had never happened during coups in the past. The Turkish military had always been keen to keep the public on its side after coups and lobbied politicians and lawmakers who would later be enlisted as helping hands in governing the country during military rule and the subsequent transition.
EVIDENCE SUPPORTED THE DEFENSE OF COMBAT PILOTS:
According to the indictment filed by the prosecutors, the parliament was bombed twice by F-16 fighter jets in the early hours of July 16, 2016, long after the putschist attempt had faltered. The first bomb, a GBU-10, a 2,000 lb laser-guided bomb, was allegedly dropped on the corner of the parliament building’s lawn at 02.35 hours by an F-16 fighter jet with tail number 94-0105 and piloted by Lt. Col. Hasan Hüsnü Balıkçı. His wingman, Uğur Uzunoğlu, was accused of zeroing in on the target with the laser while Balıkçı dropped the bomb.
Later, two MK-82s, a 500 lb general purpose bomb, were dropped on parliament at 03.24 and 03.25 hours by combat pilot Capt. Hüseyin Türk, who allegedly flew a F-16 with tail number 93-0663. All three pilots denied the accusations when they took the stand during the trial. Türk even said he never got up in the air that night and stayed at the base the entire time.
Preliminary report from the blast site did not support the dropping of a laser-guided GBU-10 bomb on the lawn of parliament:Blast_preimenary_report_parliament_lawn
More importantly, the pilots have the evidence on their side to support their version of events. An examination of the blast site on parliament’s lawn did not match the characteristics of the GBU-10, according to Col. Orhan Yıkılkan, who said that conservatively speaking, such a bomb would have resulted in an impact site of at least 600 meters in diameter. His damning revelations came during a hearing on April 15, 2019 at the Ankara 17th High Criminal Court.
Testifying at the same hearing, Akın Öztürk, a former air force commander and himself a veteran combat pilot, clarified further by saying that the GBU-10 lethal impact area is actually 750 meters and pointed out that nobody in the vicinity of bomb drop site reported seeing bomb fragments, which was unusual. The GBU-10 bomb not only destroys the target but also creates a blast impact site beyond the target because of fragmentation, causing significant damage to the nearby area.
The crater at the explosion site does not support the GBU-10 aerial bomb allegation:Blast_site_Parliament
General Staff headquarters and the air force and navy command buildings as well as hundreds of civilians who were protesting in front of the General Staff were miraculously not impacted by the bombing, which was found to be quite bizarre by experts who testified in court. They were located in the bomb’s blast impact zone, which would have inflicted significant damage from fragmentation.
“No one has mentioned anything about a bomb on those streets, in front of the air force, in front of the navy, at the intersection in front of the General Staff [where people had gathered],” Öztürk said.
According to a police crime scene investigation report dated July 18, 2016, the blast site on the lawn measured seven by six meters and was 1.5 meters deep.
RISK OF FRIENDLY FIRE PREVENTS AIR FORCE FROM DROPPING BOMBS CLOSE TO TROOPS
Secondly, the defendants argued that if the prosecutor’s charges were was correct, that would also mean that the leaders of the alleged coup who were at the General Staff building at the time were risking their own lives by ordering a strike on parliament, which was very close to their location. According to Col. Yıkılkan, this made no sense whatsoever and there was no reason the alleged coup plotters would order such a hit that could possibly result in their demise.
“The member of the Peace at Home Council [Yurtta Sulh Konseyi, an alleged military committee that planned and executed the coup attempt, according to the government’s claim] must have known that they had ordered their own death as soon as they gave an order to drop the bomb,” Yıkılkan said.
He said even if one factors in the conservative figure of a 600-meter impact site, that would still put the General Staff and other military bases in a high danger zone. Stressing that he did not want to divulge classified information, Yıkılkan nevertheless revealed that air force strikes against outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in Turkey’s Southeast were not ordered for an area twice the size of the bomb impact zone to keep land troops in safe on the ground and prevent friendly fire incidents.
Testimony of Col. Orhan Yıkılkan and former Air Force Commander Gen. Akın Öztürk on the bombing of parliament:Orhan_yikilkan_Akin_özturk_testimony_parliament_bombing
He added that even PKK militants have learned what constitutes a safe distance and close the distance with the troops when they hear the sound of airplanes in the air instead of fleeing the scene to protect themselves from bombs. The air force refrains from dropping bombs when troops are in close proximity to the militants in order to avoid friendly fire causalities, he said.
Instead of planes, Yıkılkan explained, armored tanks were positioned in the courtyard of the General Staff headquarters as well as on the street in front of parliament. The coup plotters could have easily ordered the tanks to blow up parliament in a precise strike as opposed using fighter jets if they were really interested in taking such drastic actions.
“You can hit a target within 2,000 meters with a tank because it sees the target and strikes. Tank control systems are also very good. As I just told you, there’s no risk. You mark the target and you shoot at it,” he explained.
Gen. Öztürk also highlighted the fact that photographic evidence of the blast site did not match the usual post-blast characteristics of the GBU-10 bomb.
“If this bomb fell on the lawn [of parliament], it would have left a crater at least eight meters deep with a 25-meter radius,” he said.
The photographs of the crater incorporated in the case file show there was a shallow crater 1 or 1.5 meters in diameter. Yıkılkan said even a rock thrown from an altitude of six kilometers would cause a bigger crater in the ground.
Former air force commander Öztürk dealt another blow to the prosecutor’s storyline by adding that the plane that was supposedly flying at the very low altitude of 100 to 200 meters according to the indictment would be unable to drop such a bomb at that angle to put it on the lawn of parliament.
CONFLICTING TIMELINE ON BOMBINGS
There are also inconsistencies in the evidentiary documents and reports submitted by the prosecutor to support his indictment of the combat pilots. In one expert report an F-16 with tail number 94-0105 was seen taking off at 02.15 hours and landing at 02.58 with a bomb drop time listed as 02.35 hours. However, in another document, also submitted by the prosecutor, the same plane was recorded as taking off at 02.33 hours and landing at 03.16 with the bomb drop time listed as 02.50. This major discrepancy was never explained by the prosecutor or the experts who wrote the reports.
Testimony by the maintenance crew revealed that this F-16 was never loaded with bombs in the first place when pilots Mustafa Azimetli and his co-pilot Ekrem Aydoğdu took off at 22.01 hours on July 15 and returned to the base 23.38. The report submitted by the prosecutor also confirmed this. The ground crew did not load any bombs after the plane returned to the base.
On the second takeoff at 02.33 hours, pilot Balıkçı used the same plane as Azimetli and Aydoğdu, which meant he was flying with no bombs on board. Yet the prosecutor claimed this plane dropped one GBU-10 on parliament’s lawn and that it had one GBU-10 underneath its wing when it landed. This was simply not possible according to the maintenance crew. What is more, according to the indictment, the plane dropped the bomb at 02.35, meaning that the pilot had only two minutes to take off, reach a high enough altitude, fly over parliament and get into position to drop the bomb, which is impossible to do, according to air force pilots who testified in court.
Flight data for the F-16 with tail number 94-105:Plane_94-105_flight_data
The plane data, again according to reports attached to the indictment by the prosecutor, showed that the button to drop the bomb was pushed at 02.50 hours, which stood in contrast to an earlier claim that the bomb was dispatched at 02.35 hours. The government storyline on the first bombing of parliament was full of contradictions that were never clarified by the prosecutor.
In a hearing on November 30, 2018 Sükrü Yılmaz, one of the experts who prepared the technical reports on the F-16s was discredited under cross-examination by the defense, which pointed out multiple conflicts in his reports. Yılmaz was unable to answer many questions and admitted that he had signed reports that were prepared in advance.
In the second bombing that was allegedly done by an F-16 with tail number of 93-0663, a report submitted by the prosecutor indicated that the plane’s takeoff time was 03.01 and its return time was 05.36. The bombing of parliament took place at 03.24 and 03.25. Yet another report, again submitted by the prosecutor, showed a different timeline. According to the second report, the same plane took off at 03.19 and landed at 05.53, creating a time difference of 14 to 18 minutes between the two reports. The bombing of parliament took place at a later time according to the second document.
Data sheet for aircraft that were scrambled on July15/16, 2016:Annex_e_plane_data
The defense during the trial proceedings highlighted this contradiction among expert reports and argued that the plane’s Crash-Survivable Flight Data Recording (CSFDR) data, also called the black box, was tampered with to support the government’s narrative of the coup events. Interestingly enough, some of the CFSDR data for many F-16s went missing, and the prosecutor never bothered to collect data from other planes that may have been complicit in the bombing. The defendants repeatedly filed motions with the court asking for the raw data such as CSFDR and engine information on all planes at the base for review by independent experts, but those motions were rejected by the judges with no reasoning or justification given.
As for the flight path the F-16s allegedly followed during the coup attempt, the prosecutor’s office used Google Earth instead of the military grade fleet planning module employed by the Turkish Air Force in order to precisely match the flight coordinates with the maps. The flight coordinates were not provided to the defense despite their motions, depriving the lawyers of the ability to have the data independently examined.
Conflicting expert report submitted to the court by the prosecutor:Third_report_on_planes_contradictions
A 141-page expert report submitted to the Ankara Batı Chief Prosecutor’s Office by Tusas Aerospace Industries (TAI) on August 12, 2016 revealed further scandals in the investigation. According to the report, the crime scene investigation and evidence collection at Akıncı Air Base, the alleged center of the putschists, started on July 23, 2016 and was completed on July 27. That means the prosecutor did not investigate the base immediately after the putschist attempt, which is quite bizarre and went against everything a prosecutor is supposed to do in a criminal investigation.
The first order of business for any prosecutor is to secure the crime site and collect evidence in order to keep it intact and prevent it from going missing or being destroyed. The defense argued in court that the evidence was tampered with within the space of a week to support the government narrative and that the crime scene investigation was deliberately delayed. Secondly, the report, which was supposed to be a technical report on the aircraft data, included subjective assessments that reflected the editorial views of articles that appeared in pro-government media outlets. This was a blow to the credibility of the experts, the defense claimed.
F-16 engine data revealed contradictions in the prosecutor’s claims:Engine_data_CSFDR_conflicting
The TAI report stated that the engine download data and CSFDR data were considered accurate with the exception of a plane with tail number 90-0022. But it did not explain why this was the case. The defense rightfully objected, saying the data for the other planes could be wrong as well based on the assertion made in the report because the experts never explained why they treated the downloaded data as correct for all the aircraft except for the jet with tail number 90-0022.
The report contradicted itself about the bombs loaded on the jets. On one page it listed four F-16s as having only partial loads of bombs because the ground crew did not have time to load them all. Yet on another page, it claimed these planes dropped bombs and that their load was halved because of the strike. Which version was true, the defense asked, eliciting no response from the prosecutor and no explanation from the experts who took the stand for cross-examination during the hearings.
Report which shows that evidence collection was deliberately delayed to allow the government to tamper with evidence at the air base:delayed_evidence_collectionAkinci_Air_Base
It was also interesting that a copy of the entire report went missing from the case file. Three pages (139, 140 and 141) are not available in either of the two copies submitted to the court. It was not revealed what was included on those missing pages.
The second report, prepared by three experts, stated that seven jets dropped bombs on July 15/16 in contradiction to the TAI report, which noted that six jets were involved in the bombing. Uğur Kulaksız, one of the experts, had signed both reports, which was odd. The expert apparently signed two contradictory reports.
Claims raised in the indictment by the prosecutor on the parliament bombing contradicted the expert reports that were also presented by the prosecutor’s office:Indictment_prosecutor_claims
The third report, dated August 17, 2016, claimed that Uzunoğlu piloted two F-16s with tail numbers 93-0696 and 94-1563. However, in the indictment and other reports, it was claimed that Uzunoğlu flew an F-16 with tail number 94-0105. Again, the same experts signed the report and claimed to have based their findings on the same evidence cited in the other two reports.
The apparent contradictions among all three reports prepared by the experts, some of whom had signed all three, suggested that the government manipulated the evidence to support its version of events. But it nevertheless messed up when various versions of reports appeared in the annexes of the case file. In all three reports, experts supposedly reviewed the same evidence but reached different conclusions with only one exception: the names of the pilots.
Two different government reports on the F-16 that allegedly dropped a bomb on the parliament building:94105_tag_F16_data_report
ONE PILOT WHO WAS ACCUSED OF BOMBING PARLIAMENT NEVER FLEW
Türk, who was accused of dropping two MK-82 bombs on parliament, claimed he never flew that night. He said he was asked to take one flight and that he put on his gear and got on the plane but could not take off because of a problem with the aircraft.
“As I entered the runway, I saw that the flight indicators were malfunctioning, that is, the symbols had disappeared. Then the symbols came back. It suffered the same malfunction several times at intervals of three to five minutes,” he recalled, adding that he decided to get off the runway and run through a checklist to try to resolve the problem.
He radioed the malfunction of the display indicators to the ground desk and returned to the hangar where he had picked up the plane. He never got on another aircraft and did not fly that night. Perhaps that explains why the prosecutor attributed three separate F-16s to his nonexistent flight and totally messed up in his bid to build a false scenario.
Moreover, Türk made clear that he had not completed the training to fly F-16s with night vision goggles, and the Turkish Air Force barred any pilot who had not gone through the training from participating in such missions. However, the prosecutor claimed he used night vision goggles during the flight.
MORE CONFLICTING STATEMENTS
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım even claimed that the type of bombs used at the parliament building were Massive Ordnance Penetrator bunker-busting bombs, although the indictment made no such assertion. Photos of the explosion do not indicate that bunker-busting bombs were used. There is no entry blast hole on the roof and no secondary blast site inside the building. It appeared that the prime minister wanted to amplify the false flag by adding a new allegation to the government story, which stated that MK-82 bombs were used.
Photos from the damaged sections of parliament do not appear to corroborate the claims of an aerial bomb but rather indicate the results of the detonation of explosive devices inside the building. The holes in the roof are too small for MK-82-type ordnance. The direction of the blast wave generated by the explosion and the bowing of columns and the scattering of structural debris suggest that the bombs were detonated from inside.
A map that showed two separate blast origins indicated that they were planted in sections that were used by opposition political parties. The first strike targeted the area used by opposition parties as a lobby, and the second was aimed at the offices of the deputy chairpersons of parliamentary groups. There is a distance of 25 meters between the two explosion sites. Critics believe the Turkish intelligence agency set off bombs at these locations to mobilize the opposition parties behind the government.
TORTURE OF PILOTS AND FORCED CONFESSIONS
Combat pilot Balıkçı’s torture
The fact that Turkish authorities tortured the combat pilots who were accused of bombing the parliament in order to obtain their acceptance of false statements is yet more proof that the bombing of parliament in 2016 was part of the false flag operation. Pilot Balıkçı, who allegedly flew the F-16 with tail number 94-0105 revealed brutal abuse and torture at the hands of the police, who coerced him into signing a prepared statement that incriminated him.
Addressing the panel of judges at the Ankara 4th High Criminal Court on September 12, 2017, Balıkçı said he piloted the F-16 as part of a counterterrorism (Terörle Mücadele Harekatı, or TMH) mission out of the Ankara 4th Jet Base Command, located at Akıncı Air Base. He went home after the routine operation turned into a chaotic situation at the base. His family was in his hometown of Konya, and he joined them after two or three days had passed. Ten days later, he was detained by the police and brought back to Ankara where the torture began.
In the basement of the counterterrorism building, he was greeted by the police who told him his statement had already been drafted. Various police groups were working in shifts to beat him until morning.
Testimony of pilot Balıkçı, who gave detailed accounts of torture and abuse:Hasan_Husnu_Balikci_torture
“In the morning, an interrogation team came and poured cold water and punched and kicked me before the questioning started,” Balıkçı said. Then the police told him this was just the beginning and that they were going to inflict the most severe torture on him.
They later hit and tried to crush his hands, fingers, and genitals with pliers, attempting to break his fingers. “Another policeman put his knee on my head and neck and tried to break my arms by pulling my handcuffed hands backwards. There are still scars on my arms and back after 14 months, he added.
A young police officer threatened to use electroshock on his body and sodomize him with a glass bottle unless he gave a statement to the liking of the police. He was told the torture would last for a month and that he would not survive.
He was told to accept the claim that he bombed the Turkish Parliament. When he refused, the torture resumed. The moment they attached wires to his body to electrocute him was the breaking point. He agreed to sign whatever the police had prepared as his statement. He had to sign the statement with swollen hands. But the police did not stop torturing him even after he signed the papers. More police teams came to join in the beatings. In the meantime, he was not provided any food or water and was not allowed to use the bathroom.
After two days of torture, he was sent to a sports hall in the building to join 45 other detainees, but he was kept separate and continued to receive beatings in front of everybody.
A police chief forced him to crawl on the floor while his hands were handcuffed from behind and crushed his genitals with his foot and repeated this torture over and over. At one point, the police chief told him to commit suicide and said he would help him take his own life with a basketball hoop. When Balıkçı refused, the police took off his pants and sprayed his genitals with some sort of chemical to make him suffer. Every few hours, the police in the sports hall came and poured the liquid on him, targeting his genital area.
At one point, a team of police officers took him to a room in the basement and started beating him there. His head was repeatedly banged on the wall until a police chief came in and stopped them from going any further.
When he was sent to the prosecutor’s office to give a deposition, the police told him to stick to his false statement or his wife and children would face the same torture. He experienced the trauma for a month after he was sent to prison under a judge’s arrest order. The police also detained his wife and kept her for several days just to send him the message that they meant business.
Balıkçı was training student pilots at the base in the weeks leading up to the July 15 events. He flew with a student on the night of July 14 and had some down time until noon the next day. He was summoned to the base in the afternoon and told by the operations commander that there would be a TMH operation.
Combat pilot Uzunoğlu’s torture
Thirty-nine-year-old Uzunoğlu took the stand on February 26, 2018 to defend himself and started his testimony by saying that he was not provided with the entire case file in prison to help him mount a better defense. The draft paperwork he prepared with his notes for his defense was taken from him while he was en route from the prison, leaving him at a disadvantage. His meetings with his lawyer were monitored and listened in on by prison guards.
On the night of July 15 Uzunoğlu flew an F-16 just like he did on many missions in Turkey, Iraq and Syria; complied with last-minute orders to scramble; and spent hours in the air waiting to intervene in case troops on the ground needed air cover. He had joined the 4th Jet Fleet at Akıncı Air Base only four days earlier and was about to leave the base on at noon July 15.
Fleet commander Azimetli told him there might be a TMH operation in the evening before he headed home. Since he and his wife had recently moved into their apartment, they needed to run a lot of errands. He took his wife to a shop to order curtains and called the cable company to set up an Internet connection. While he was trying to hang the chandelier in the living room of their apartment, he received a call from the fleet’s program officer, who said there would be a sports match in the evening. It was a cryptic message that meant there would be a TMH operation.
Testimony of pilot Uzunoğlu on the torture he was subjected to:Ugur_uzunoglu_testimony_torture
He hastily put some clothes in a bag, thinking he would fly to bases in the Southeast and most likely spend the night there during the operation, something he had done many times before. When he arrived, he and the other pilots were told there was a major terrorist threat and that they needed to take off quickly. The mission and targets would be conveyed to the pilots while they were in the air. He got into an F-16 as a wingman to Lt. Col. Balıkçı, who was the squadron leader. His plane was carrying two GBU-10 and TGP bombs.
The two were kept waiting in the air near the base. When Balıkçı had problems with his plane and was not able to resolve them by going through a checklist, he was ordered to land while Uzunoğlu was kept waiting. He returned to the base some 20 minutes later when the jet’s fuel was down. He never dropped any bomb during his one and a half hours aloft. When he landed, he got some sleep.
He was asked if he could fly when he woke up to use the bathroom, but he said he was exhausted. In the meantime, the situation at the base turned chaotic with the deployment of the special forces. In the morning he left the base and was told that prosecutors would summon him in due time for a statement. But the call never came. His father, a retired police officer, advised him to go to the prosecutor’s office at the Ankara Batı Courthouse with him and tell the authorities what he had experienced that night.
After he and his father went to the courthouse, they were told to wait. It took several hours before he was called to give a statement. To his surprise the prosecutor ordered his arrest, and after a quick arraignment hearing, the judge sent him to jail.
“I wouldn’t have gone to the prosecutor’s office on my own if I’d committed the crimes I was accused of. My family and I had green passports [that allowed visa-free travel to many countries], and I had enough money to support us for a while. I would have thought about running or hiding, but I didn’t go down that path because I was sure I wasn’t involved in any crime and wanted to help justice be served,” Uzunoğlu said.
In September 2016 Uzunoğlu was taken from his prison cell and transported to a building where he was put in a storage room. A three-man team came to the room and started beating him while he was handcuffed from behind. He received blows all over his body, and one tried to suffocate him by squeezing his neck. After a while, the men took a break and put several notes on the table for him to repeat. The notes included plane tail numbers, flight times, co-pilot names, ammunition types and the like.
The men asked him to give a new statement in line with the notes. He was told to say he dropped bombs at the coordinates specified and flew the jets that were written on the paper. When he objected, saying no such thing had happened and that he never dropped a bomb anywhere, the abuse and torture resumed with more intensity. He was shown videos of his commanders under torture and threatened that they would do much worse to him. The police also told him they would detain his wife as well.
Full text of Uzunoğlu’s testimony in court:Ugur_uzunoglu_testimony_ful_text
“I was forced to accept what they said, with threatening statements like ’Tell your story based on what we said and then you can relax and not get any more beatings from us. Otherwise, you’ll go back and forth for more [torture], and we’ll keep you here for a long time’,” Uzunoğlu explained to the court. The police made him repeat the story several times to ensure he had memorized all the details on the papers. He was also told to admit to ownership of the transcript of radio communications, which turned out to be fabricated.
“They said, ‘If you give the statement the way we want, you can see your family when you get out, or you won’t see them for a long time.’ When the statement session was over and I was let out of the room, my family was standing in front of me. I knew what they meant, what they could do,” Uzunoğlu added.
He told the judges he rejected the statement taken under duress and said he would explain what really happened during his defense testimony.
Combat pilot Hüseyin Türk’s torture
On July 26, 2016 Türk went to Akıncı Air Base to give his statement on what happened on the night of the coup, where he was detained by the police. At the detention site he was tortured and threatened with harm to his family. In his testimony at the Ankara 4th High Criminal Court on February 12, 2018, he said he was forced to sign a statement prepared by the police and was then sent to prison.
On September 29, 2016 he was summoned to the prosecutor’s office for another statement, and he went along with the first one over fears that his wife would be arrested as well. He already knew that the wives of some pilots had been detained as part of the government’s intimidation campaign and did not want to risk his wife’s imprisonment. Therefore he decided to stick to the line provided by the prosecutor.
Testimony of combat pilot Hüseyin Türk on torture:Huseyin_Turk_testimony_on_torture
In the first court hearing during his 18-month pretrial imprisonment, 38-year-old Türk decided to tell his real story and recanted earlier statements that were imposed on him under torture and threat.
Türk was appointed to serve in the 143rd fleet at the 4th Main Jet Base as a wing leader in July 2015. Educated in Turkey and trained at NATO bases abroad including in the US, he was an accomplished pilot. He led a group of fighter jets across Atlantic to join Exercise Red Flag in February-March 2016 and was group leader of some 30 US, Turkish and Italian fighter jets. The Turkish Air Force participated in the drill with 6 F-16s and 2 KC-135R tankers, run at the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR). He represented the Turkish Air Force in the 2016 NATO Trident Jaguar exercise in Norway.
Akıncı Air Base was also home to student pilots who were in training to fly F-16 fighter jets. Türk was responsible for mentoring 28 students and had been trying to teach them the nuts and bolts of being a combat pilot.
Full testimony of pilot Hüseyin Türk:Huseyin_Turk_testimony_full
WHO BOMBED THE PARLIAMENT?
A review of thousands of pages of reports, statements and testimony from the case file suggests that the prosecutor’s allegations and the government’s talking points on the bombing of parliament by F-16s are simply not true. They lacked solid evidence to support the allegations.
The question of who bombed the parliament still remains unanswered, although there are several claims such as the planting of C-4 or TNT bombs inside the building. Pictures from the damaged sections of parliament appear to confirm a bomb explosion from inside rather than explosive ordnance dropped from a plane.
No real investigation was conducted into the substance of the bomb used in the explosion in parliament. The mystery remains unsolved. Perhaps that’s what the government wanted in the first place rather than shedding light on the truth.
Photos from damaged sections of parliament cast suspicion on the allegations of an aerial bombing:Bomb_blast_pictures
The fact that most motions filed by lawyers and their clients with the court to obtain complete data from the planes and video footage from the base were rejected with no reasonable justification further pointed out that the judges, under government pressure, did not have the leeway to entertain such requests or feared revealing the truth about the parliament bombing.
It is possible that military grade bombs manufactured by the Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKE) were planted in the parliament complex to make it appear that it was bombed by putschists in order to spark outrage and justify the unprecedented actions the Erdoğan government would take after that such as declaring a state of emergency, the mass purge of government employees and a wave of detentions that included not only generals and admirals but also academics, journalists, activists, NGO workers, diplomats and members of the judiciary.
Pilot Türk filed a motion on February 12, 2018 with the Ankara 4th High Criminal Court to learn what type of bombs the state-run MKE manufactured that included TNT and HMX. He said he did not see any ballistic examination of the bombs dropped on the parliament and asked the court to order such an examination on the bomb fragments. He also sought an aerial radar map of the entire country on July 15 to see what other planes took off on that night from various airports. The court did not grant his motions.
Another claim raised during the proceedings was that the explosion in the parliament building might have been caused by a bomb planted between two columns rather than an aerial bombing by F-16s. The picture from the damaged sections of parliament showed significant blast damage but no fragmentation damage, which is quite unusual for a bomb dropped from the air.
Brig. Gen. Hakan Evrim told the court on August 22, 2017 that the coup attempt was over by around 1 a.m. and that the bombing of targets such as parliament was carried out after that time, which made no sense. “None of these targets were likely to be military targets for the coup operation because it did not serve the purpose of the coup,” he underlined. He said destruction of the parliament building would require dozens of sorties by multiple F-16s according to NATO calculations and also required precision ordnance. He also said ground troops could easily have occupied the building if they wanted to since many military headquarters were located near the parliament.
Brig. Gen. Hakan Evrim challenged the prosecutor’s claims on the parliament bombing:Hakan_Evrim_f_16_usa_statement
He also noted that there was no exit strategy for the coup in the event of failure, which suggested that this was not a planned coup attempt. No such contingency was planned for, and most military officers were unaware of any coup plan.
“As a result, F16s were used that night in a ridiculous manner that had no place in the real world; targets that would not have achieved the objective of the operation were bombed; and these bombings were carried out after it was revealed that the coup had already failed. Looking at all this, it can be understood that the F16s were used in a way that would spark outrage among the public rather than for the purpose of conducting a coup, that it would guarantee failure and create a climate for the purge that would be initiated after the suppression of the coup,” Evrim explained.
PROSECUTOR RECORDED INCIDENTS BEFORE THEY ACTUALLY HAPPENED
Another major blunder the planners of the false flag made was to list the events that took place in the early hours of July 16 before they actually occurred, confirming that the intelligence agency had planned several incidents to make the coup attempt appear real.
According to an official document written by Ankara public prosecutor Serdar Coşkun, who prepared indictments in the coup trials, the events that unfolded on that night were known by Turkish authorities in advance. The document was dated July 16 and time-stamped at 1 a.m., three hours after the coup attempt began. Yet, the document mentioned events that took place after 1 a.m., which can only confirm that those events were actually planned in advance by operatives of the Erdoğan government, not the putschists. It also laid bare the fact that MIT wanted more bloodshed in the chaotic events.
For instance, the document mentioned the bombing of the Turkish Parliament by warplanes and stated that people were killed. In reality there were two explosions in the parliament, one at 2:35 a.m. and a second at 3:24 a.m. Nobody was killed.
Official document written by Ankara public prosecutor Serdar Coşkun at 1:00 a.m. listed events that happened after the document was written or events that never took place, suggesting that the coup incidents were planned by Turkish authorities far in advance:Serdar_Coskun_order_1am_July16_2016
The document predicted the bombing at the presidential palace five hours before an explosion took place near the palace. The alleged perpetrators who had state-of-the-art F-16 fighter jets miraculously missed the huge presidential complex in a national park and hit only a car park and overpass near the palace. These incidents took place at 6:19 a.m. In other words, not only was the timing wrong but also the description of the incident and the targets was not accurate.
What is more, the document claimed that the presidential palace was besieged by putschists who wanted to storm the building and take it over. Yet it was later uncovered that only 13 officers, three of whom were high-ranking, and 10 privates went to the palace, which hundreds of security personnel were stationed to protect.
There was also a claim that noise-generating bombs were dropped in Ankara by jets when no such action took place. The noise was generated by a sonic boom from jets that flew at high speed and low altitude. Some incidents mentioned in the document never took place on the night of the coup. For example, the document talked about a siege of MİT headquarters in Ankara and the bombing of the Special Forces Command and Security Directorate’s intelligence unit by pro-coup soldiers. The appointment of new officers as chief of general staff and force commanders by the putschists, which were written in the document, never happened.
At a time when no evidence had been collected and the incidents were still in progress, the document named Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who has been living in the US since 1999, as the mastermind of the coup. Gülen repeatedly denied the allegations and asked for an international inquiry, a suggestion that was rejected by the Erdoğan government.