In the past, undisclosed meetings between Hulusi Akar and Erdogan that needed further scrutiny had been identified, dating back to the pre-15th of July era.
One of these meetings was Erdogan and Hulusi Akar’s visit to Abdullah Gul. On a Saturday, 2 or 3 weeks before the 15th of July, around 10:00 pm, Erdogan and the then Chief of General Staff, now Minister of National Defense, Hulusi Akar, came to Abdullah Gul’s office in Ayazaga without any escorts or guards, and the trilateral meeting lasted until 2:00 am the next morning. (1) (2)
Another meeting took place on the 14th of July at the Special Forces Command and lasted until late at night, a 6-hour secret meeting between Akar and Hakan Fidan, which was revealed during the hearings after the 15th of July. (3) Akar had preferred to conceal the meeting he had with Fidan at the Headquarters on the 15th of July in his initial statement.
Akar’s meeting with AKP member Şirin Ünal, which he attempted to keep hidden from the public and official records, also occurred on the 15th of July. The public became aware of this meeting not through Akar but from the testimony of Captain Oktay Felekoğlu, who stated that Şirin Ünal came to the Headquarters before meeting with the Undersecretary of MIT, Hakan Fidan, and the Chief of General Staff, Hulusi Akar. (4)
One of the mysterious meetings between the Turkish Armed Forces high command and Erdogan took place in the first week of June 2016, in a secluded villa in the Aksaz military resort, away from prying eyes. This meeting was never mentioned in the official records or in any participants’ schedules. Let’s delve into the details; on the 31st of May 2016, after the prestigious observer day of the Efes exercise, the Turkish Armed Forces Command delegation, including General Hulusi Akar, General Salih Zeki Çolak, General Bülent Bostanoğlu, General Abidin Ünal, and General Galip Mendi, stayed at the Aksaz resort for two days. During this time, they spent two days on vacation (!) without bringing their spouses. On the last day of this “vacation,” in the evening hours, they held a secretive meeting in a secluded area of the Aksaz resort called the “villa,” which was also suitable for helicopter landings and take-offs.
In attendance were Tayyip Erdogan, Hulusi Akar, four Force Commanders, and a Rear Admiral, all convening discreetly without anyone’s knowledge during what was supposed to be their vacation time. Erdogan arrived at Aksaz by helicopter, and the said Rear Admiral also arrived on the same day.
During meetings attended by Force Commanders in the Turkish Armed Forces’ functioning, there is always a private secretary or an aide-de-camp present to take notes. They present these notes to the Commander after the meeting. The Force Commander then provides relevant departments with directives based on the notes taken. However, no private secretary or aide-de-camp was present at this meeting. Yet, there was an ordinary Rear Admiral present on that day.
Who was this Rear Admiral?
Yes, you guessed it right; that Rear Admiral was none other than Cihat Yaycı, who was dismissed in 2020 after completing his service. Only a few people knew about Erdogan and Cihat Yaycı’s presence at this highly confidential meeting.
Let’s assume for a moment that the Force Commanders decided to gather mysteriously to share vacation memories with Erdogan without informing anyone. It would be hard to understand why a Rear Admiral, with a nearly zero chance of ever meeting a President throughout his military career, would attend a meeting without his private secretary or aide-de-camp, if we hadn’t experienced the events of the 15th of July and afterward.
Sometimes, someone at the General level attends meetings at the level of Force Commanders to take notes or coordinate, and directives are then issued based on those notes. However, no one was appointed to take notes at this meeting. Interestingly, there are two higher-ranking Generals above Cihat Yaycı, Major General Nevzat Taşdeler, and Major General Tahir Bekiroğlu, who are his superiors. According to the hierarchy, they should have been present there. After all, they are the sequential superiors of Cihat Yaycı, but they were not present at this meeting.
So, who else attends high-level meetings held by the Turkish Armed Forces high command, such as the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ)? Depending on the nature of the meeting, either the Personnel Chief or the Operations Chief accompanies them. The Personnel Chief attends YAŞ meetings, while the Operations Chief attends the National Security Council (MGK) meetings. Secretaries or aides of the relevant Generals usually take notes at such important high-level meetings. Moreover, such meetings are not usually held at holiday resorts; after all, they are military holiday camps. Choosing the secluded villa at Aksaz, where visiting Generals stay, is intended to avoid attention. Besides, no such meeting has been held in this manner after the prestigious observer day in previous years.
Furthermore, it is quite intriguing that even Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım was not included in this meeting at Aksaz. This indicates that Yıldırım’s reluctance to be involved in the “unpleasant project,” as he defined the 15th of July plot during the meeting at the Anadolu Agency. It seems that they kept Binali Yıldırım, who was appointed instead of Ahmet Davutoğlu, who was fired probably because he was not involved in the preparations for the 15th of July, on the sidelines and did not include him much in the preparations.
This mysterious meeting at Aksaz stands out as the final general meeting where all main actors were seen together before the 15th of July. It appears that they coordinated the final preparations they had been making among themselves or through Hulusi Akar until then. On the day of the coup attempt, these military and civilian actors who coordinated so effectively were able to move troops from Sincan, have trucks loaded with sand ready, send jihadists to the bridges, and deploy snipers.
Moreover, when the wedding host, General Air Force Commander Major General Mehmet Şanver, said to Abidin Ünal, “Sir, I sent General Kadıoğlu to Eskişehir to follow the flight ban. If you allow, I will arrange a plane for him,” Abidin Ünal replied, “Şanver, there is no need for Kadıoğlu to go as far as Eskişehir at this stage. Call him back.” This confirms what we (those who held mysterious meetings before the 15th of July) understood: Abidin Ünal was aware of the situation.
When you title the bloody theater of July 15, where Hulusi Akar, following Erdogan’s directives, carried out a scenario with Hakan Fidan, and set a trap for the Force Commanders and the Turkish Armed Forces, through Mehmet Dişli, whose duty was to conceal himself, as a “CONSPIRACY,” everything falls into place, and you can find answers to unanswered questions!
*Yüksel Akkale is retired Colonel from Turkish Air Force.
This article was first published in dogruaci.com and translated by Politurco.
(*) This article was previously published on the website 15temmuzinfo. Link to the article: https://15temmuzinfo.net/index.php/2020/08/17/tsk-komuta-kademesi-ile-erdoganin-esrarengiz-bulusmasi/