In yet another revelation that further confirmed the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan executed a 2016 false flag coup attempt to empower itself, a critical piece of evidence presented during the ensuing trials has now been exposed as a forgery that was apparently planted in a suspect’s car days after the abortive putsch.
Based on a cache of documents obtained by Nordic Monitor, the government plot was belatedly devised to address the credibility gap in the official narrative, which lacked any evidence that alleged coup plotters actually targeted political figures with the intention of overthrowing the government. Yet, in their haste, the government people made a significant blunder that dealt a huge blow to the official story of the coup bid and exposed the false flag plot.
The disclosure regarding the planting of evidence came directly from Col. Ahmet Özçetin, who served as the operations commander at Akıncı Air Base. This revelation occurred during a hearing on August 21, 2017 at the Ankara 4th High Criminal Court. Özçetin’s testimony shed light on the deliberate act of planting evidence, adding another layer of credibility to the Erdogan government’s involvement in the coup attempt.
Özçetin was one of four senior commanders at the base, reporting to the base commander and in charge of organizing flights, both combat and training, out of the base. At the time 100 student pilots were being trained by the 141st Combat Air Squadron, a course that was nearing completion. Since the training was intensive and the teachers were busy, Özçetin said he was not in favor of using the base for a combat operation in possible future assignments, at least not until the student pilots had graduated.
Testimony of Col. Ahmet Özçetin exposed the planting of evidence to incriminate him for the failed coup:Ahmet_Özcetin_defense_envelope
On July 15, despite Özçetin’s reservations, he received orders to prepare combat pilots and F-16 fighter jets for a potential counterterrorism operation known as Teröristle Mücadele Harekâtı (TMH). As the flight mobilization was underway, both Air Force General Abidin Ünal and Chief of General Staff General Hulusi Akar arrived the base. Özçetin thought his commanders were in charge of the operation and wanted to direct it personally.
Özçetin was not aware that Turkish intelligence agency MIT had been secretly working with a lieutenant colonel in the air force to direct warplanes to buzz the capital city of Ankara in order to bolster the perception that a false flag was a real coup attempt by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
Several senior military commanders testified during trial that MIT agent Korkut Gül coordinated the activity in the tower at Akıncı Air Base manned by Lt. Col. Nihat Altıntop, the airfield operations commander. Altıntop was in the tower and was frequently on the phone with the MIT agent.
But things became chaotic in the middle of the night, and the flights that took off early on the evening of July 15 as part of the TMH operation were branded as a putschist attempt. Özçetin ordered the student pilots to leave the base, which he and the teacher pilots also did. Although neither Altıntop nor his commanders, Air Force general Ünal and Chief of General Staff Akar, were charged with involvement in the coup, Özçetin was detained and arrested on July 18 for directing F-16 flights for the coup attempt.
In a disturbing turn of events, it was discovered that evidence was planted in Özçetin’s car shortly after his detention, with the intention of making it appear as though he had targeted political figures during the coup attempt. On July 23, 2016 an A-4 size envelope was found in the back seat of Özçetin’s official military vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee with license plate 612070, which he used for official purposes on the base. Inside the envelope were documents allegedly containing the names of senior political figures.
According to the indictment, this evidence was presented as a smoking gun, suggesting that the coup plotters had made preparations to detain political leaders as part of their plan to seize power. Among the names listed in the documents were former president Abdullah Gül, former prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, then-minister Süleyman Soylu and President Erdogan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak as well as Erdogan’s chief advisors Mücahit İhsan Arslan and Mustafa Varank and others. This planted evidence was a significant factor used to support the narrative of the coup plotters’ intentions.
However, there was no such envelope found during the execution of a search warrant conducted on July 18, when Özçetin was detained. Authorities searched his car as well as his house in his presence on July 18 after a warrant was issued by a judge the same day. The search team was composed of public prosecutors Mehmet Yilmaz and Doğan Kaya, senior military officers, police teams from the crime scene investigation unit, cyber crime unit and counterterrorism and special force units.
The initial search was extensively photographed and video-recorded by a police photograph and film unit. The record created after completion of the search and signed by 20 participants including prosecutors, police, military officers and Özçetin himself did not mention the discovery of the envelope.
Record of the execution of the first search warrant on Col. Özçetin’s car:Ahmet_Ozcetin_car_search_rercord
The sole item that was documented and entered into the record from the search of Özçetin’s car was a Sony Xperia mobile phone. Following the search, the vehicle was subsequently handed over to the custody of the Transportation Battalion Command. These details further emphasize the absence of any documented evidence regarding the alleged envelope with political figures’ names found during the search on July 18.
The second search record, created on July 23 at 13:45 hours, said the car that was supposed to be in battalion custody was claimed to have been found abandoned in front of the military residential complex. The car was not locked, and authorities miraculously discovered the documents in the envelope in the seized car. This raises questions about the circumstances surrounding the discovery of the documents and the credibility of their presence in the car.
During the hearing on the coup case at the Ankara 17th Criminal Court on January 23, 2019, Özçetin said it was clear that the evidence was planted days after his detention. He also revealed that a fingerprint analysis on the documents allegedly obtained from the car did not yield any fingerprints belonging to him. This revelation raises serious doubts about the authenticity and credibility of the documents used as evidence against him, suggesting a manipulation by the government people.
Col. Ahmet Özçetin’s fingerprints did not match those on the documents planted in his car:Ahmet_Özcetin_fingerprints
This is not the only evidence that the Erdogan government made mistakes in organizing the coup bid, exposing the false flag for keen observers of the coup trials, which were marred by a lack of due process and the elements of a fair trial. Maj. Adnan Arıkan testified in court on January 14, 2019 that a team of MIT agents had visited Akıncı Air Base in May 2016, two months before the coup attempt, describing the visit as unprecedented and aimed at scouting the base for the purposes of the false flag.
The base command initially denied MIT’s request to visit the base, explaining that the base was busy with some 100 pilots who were in training at the time. The MIT agents could have paid a visit to other air bases that were less busy in Ankara or other cities, but MIT’S insistence on visiting Akıncı was found quite strange, Arıkan said.
In the end Air Force Commander Gen. Ünal, a close confidant of President Erdogan, with whom he met secretly outside the chain of command several times, allowed the visit, overruling the base command, and MIT sent a team of 70 agents to look around and scout the base. “What benefits did such a large delegation get from this trip? What were the duties of the people in this delegation and what were their activities on July 15, 2016? “ Arıkan asked.
“The MIT delegation toured almost every place on the base including the flight tower and locations where the 141st, 142nd and 143rd squadrons were deployed as well as hangars and ammunition depots. From a military point of view, this was really a reconnaissance. Those who understand a little bit about intelligence, those who know a little bit about the principles of unconventional warfare, understand the purpose of this activity very well,” Arıkan said.
Other testimony revealing MIT’s plot to frame the July 15 events as a coup bid came from Staff Col. Bilal Akyüz of the Land Forces Command, who told the court how a MIT agent asked Altıntop to delete the record from his phone after the two had talked.
“Your Honor, [Altıntop] said a friend of his at MIT, Korkut Gül, asked him to delete his number and to never mention his [the MIT agent’s] name. However when pressed [during his deposition] he had to name him because he could not explain it otherwise,” Akyüz testified at the Ankara 17th High Criminal Court on April 19, 2019. He questioned why Altıntop did not call his commanding officer at the Joint Operations Command in Eskisehir.
The most damning testimony concerning MIT’s complicity in the coup was delivered in court on September 6, 2017 by Lt. Col. Hakan Karakuş.
“Acting on the instructions he received from Korkut Gül [the MIT agent], Altıntop instructed his team to let everything run its course and told his staff, ‘Don’t worry, I’m your witness, you’ll be fine, just let everything proceed’,” Karakuş, who was with him in the tower, told the court. “As always, he was the man in charge in the tower, controlled the approach [of aircraft] that night, instructing the planes to land and take off and to continue on their flight missions,” he added.
Altıntop, an air traffic officer, was in charge of the Akıncı airfield, alleged to be the the center of the failed putsch on July 15, 2016 and ran the operations of fighter jets from the base tower with his team. He was responsible for all the planes and helicopters that took off from and landed at the base, Karakuş said. Yet he was never charged or indicted over the July 15 events but was listed as a witness whose testimony helped the government purge and imprison dozens of officers.
In his own testimony Altıntop admitted he had contacted the MIT agent at 22:30 hours on the night of July 15, bypassing the chain of command and deciding to not inform his commanding officers about the activity at the base. He said he updated the MIT agent on the developments at the base, suggesting that the two had talked earlier. The second call was made at 23:10, before Karakuş’s arrival at the tower.
“There was no effort [by Altıntop] to prevent [the planes from taking off] during the night,” Karakuş recalled, adding that the colonel deliberately escalated the events at the base and ordered his team to follow his lead.
The government dumped everything on Karakuş, making him a fall guy.
Karakuş thought he had been preparing pilots for a counterterrorism operation on July 15 as he had done many times in the past and had no idea that Turkish intelligence was planning a false flag coup to create a pretext for a mass purge of the Turkish military.
Much incriminating evidence emerged during the coup trials that showed how the Turkish intelligence agency was involved in orchestrating the July 15 events as a false flag under orders from President Erdogan to enable the Islamist government to launch a massive purge of the Turkish military. Nether the then-intelligence chief Hakan Fidan, who denied any prior knowledge of the coup attempt, nor then-defense chief Akar appeared in court for cross-examination despite repeated motions by the defense to have them summoned to attend the hearings.
Nearly two-thirds of all generals and admirals and almost all staff officers were purged and/or jailed on dubious charges with no evidence to support the allegations, and the vacancies were filled by Islamists, nationalists and neo-nationalists.