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How a Turkish journalist solved the biggest mystery of July 15th coup attempt in Turkey

Adem Yavuz Arslan is a Turkish journalist in exile based in Washington, D.C. Back in Turkey, he was known with his investigative works, in different news outlets along with his managerial positions in Turkish media. After Erdogan Government increased its pressure on independent media in 2014, he came to the United States to start a new life with his family. July 15 Coup attempt in 2016 has been a milestone in Turkish political history. Erdogan using the coup attempt as a pretext, consolidated his power and started a brutal witch-hunt against the opponents.

Many believed the coup attempt was actually a self-coup orchestrated by Erdogan.

Adem Yavuz Arslan sheds light on the biggest mystery of the coup attempt and provides enormous evidence supporting this argument. One of these incidents demonstrating the coup attempt was actually fake occurred in Marmaris, a Mediterranean resort town along the Turkish Riviera, where Erdogan was supposed to be in vacation during the coup attempt.

I sat down with Adem Yavuz Arslan and talked about his findings about the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey. He says everything told about the coup by Erdogan Government was just a lie.

Recently you have been writing up quite a lot in order to enlighten the incident of July 15th. And we have been following your videos throughout the last two years. Your actions are appreciated by public opinion. You particularly urged upon the incident of Marmaris on July 15, 2016, both in your articles and the videos you publish recently. What exactly is the incident of Marmaris? You are talking about another assault team a couple of hours before Brigadier General Sonmezates actually arrived on the scene. First of all, about this topic, is the data you have actually comprise of facts? Meaning, are there witness testimonies? What is the information we have on this topic that could be accepted as evidence and facts?

First of all, I would like to thank you for this interview. The reason is that July 15th is the most important matter of Turkey. In every sense. From law to politics, from politics to be on track to the manifestation of justice and from social life to the media, everything is related to July 15th. Therefore, revealing and enlightening comprehensively what actually happened on July 15th is the primary duty of a journalist and at the same time we, as the people are the victims of this incident because we were blacklisted because of this excuse. Our T.V. channels and newspapers were shut down; our colleagues are locked up and we are in exile. Therefore, revealing what actually happened here is our primary duty. In this regard, since July 15th, I have spent some serious working hours in the last five years. I mean, I have read thousands of pages of documents, analyzed numerous documents. In fact, from autopsy reports, let me tell you in brackets here, when I read an autopsy report that was not read by anybody before, I was shocked with a reality. For example, the bullets that were found on the bodies of the civilians killed in front of the General Command of Gendarmerie in Ankara do not exist in TSK (Turkish Armed Forces) inventory. When you talk with an expert, they say that “Yes this is not a bullet of NATO standards and does not exist in Turkish Military inventory”. Here is the reason why I started answering your question from this point. Because this is not a topic that could be speculated. This is an autopsy report. There is no point to argue over it because you cannot argue over an autopsy report since it is an examination of a dead body. Plus, the DNA reports are quite clear. In other words, we are facing a group of civilians who are not killed by the soldiers of Turkish Military with bullets in the inventory. So, who killed them? For example, this topic is still a big mystery. It has not been investigated. Now, why is Marmaris incident the biggest mystery? If you solve Marmaris, you will solve July 15th. Because on July 15th, when you think of a small model of July 15th, everything is locked on Marmaris. The plans made by Erdogan, the roles played by MIT (National Intelligence Agency of Turkey), over there, especially the hotel where Erdogan was staying, when the team of Gokhan Sonmezates was still in Cigli, the existence of some teams that went there earlier and killed two police officers and opened fire here and there, and the fact that all of the traces belonging to those teams disappearing… Look, three choppers go there and martyrize two police officers and there are other wounded people, and there are somebody wearing black, probably soldiers or police officers, we do not know who, opening fire in the hotel where the president stays. And all the radar traces and communication records are washed away. Not one single bit of progress was made about this.

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 President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stays at a hotel in Marmaris during July 15th and before General Sonmezates’ team arrives, what is the exact time again? 1-2 hours before?

3 hours.

3 hours. What I would like to ask is that the team goes there to target Erdogan or for a different reason, we do not have clear information about what happened, but what is the basis here? Is it the witness testimonies or what documents do we have?

Let me explain this. We have materials to talk about for hours. In fact, contrary to general belief, like everybody says it is a big mystery. It is a mystery because nobody makes research. Look, we have more than 40 witness testimonies dictating that there was a team arrived at the hotels’ area at around 1 am and started shooting and martyrized a police officer. Among these people, there are hotel workers, and moreover, there is an English tourist. I also interviewed him, he told me what he experienced.

You made an interview with an English tourist who was staying at the hotel? What did he tell you?

For example, none of them saw Erdogan. The things they have witnessed at the hotel where Erdogan was staying, for example, this person stays at a neighboring villa. There was a shooting, and their windows were broken. He wanted to testify but they did not have it and kicked him out of the hotel hastily. He consults the embassy telling them that he wants to testify about an attack at the hotel stays at and they kick him out telling him they do not want his testimony.

So, is there a possibility that Recep Tayyip Erdogan was not at the hotel at all?

Yes, I will get there. Erdogan, at least in a period, let me rephrase, he may not have been at the hotel in a part of that evening. We also have different data about this and also there are signs that suggest likewise. But, let me explain as a whole. What do we have in our hands? Autopsy reports. Why are the autopsy reports important? Because, although one of the two police officers, who were martyrized there, was killed at 1:30 am, first his time of death first was switched to 3:30 am and then to 4 something. I can tell you the exact number now. 

So, what does the autopsy report tell us?

The autopsy report tells us that the police officer in question was not killed by Gokhan Sonmezates and his team. 

And is there anything else that suggests who the killers were?

The question is this. The autopsy report states that the bullet entered the body, first of all, the autopsy report states that the death was caused by a sharp object resulting in heavy blood loss. Indeed, he has a large slit cut on his chest meaning he was martyrized with a sharp knife. And then they said he was killed as a result of a gunshot injury and his time of death changes three times. A person’s time of death cannot change. The reports are changed three times because of pressures. Finally, they say he is dead, but where is the shell case or the bullet? Because an entrance wound is supposed to have an exit wound. It is that simple. I do not want to get into details because an autopsy is a disturbing thing. But if there is an entrance wound, there should be an exit wound. If there is no exit wound, what does that mean? It means that the bullet remained in the body. And the body does not have any bullets. Now, furthermore, there is something very funny. A shell casing that was found in a helicopter belongs to the same weapon that martyrized the police officer. Let’s do a very simple thing. Who can shoot the helicopter above and the police officer on the ground simultaneously? If the guy above shoots a bullet downwards, he cannot shoot the bullet back to himself because he is already midair. If we assume that the guy on the ground only shoots to the helicopter above, then who martyrized the police officer? It is extremely clear that a third force both opened fire to the helicopter above and martyrized the police officer. Because the shell casing found on the ceiling of the mid-air helicopter is the same shell casing martyrize the police officer. I can even reveal the serial numbers, the autopsy reports include this information. Here is what I am trying to explain in order to focus on your question. What do we have in our hands? We have autopsy reports, witness testimonies, there are the testimonies given by the witnesses both to the prosecution and the parliamentary investigation committee, and there are also testimonies given in different courts. There are testimonies given by Gokhan Sonmezates and his teams, and there are also expert reports regarding these. In fact, we have thousands of documents in our hands. And when you read them, let me tell you a very simple thing, I can tell you this as somebody who went through thousands of pages, maybe it will sound like a surprise for many, there was such a scheme in Marmaris, it is such a conspiracy, and we should just take our hats off to them.

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Adem Yavuz Arslan

What kind of scheme was it?  

Let’s start from the beginning. I have followed Erdogan as a journalist for years. I traveled a lot with him, we flew on the same plane, we made interviews. Erdogan’s scenario about Marmaris on July 15th is not true. It starts right on the first day, why? Because Erdogan says that he just changed his mind at the last minute and he talked with Serkan Yazici, who is the owner of the hotel and later he was made a major candidate, and that he invited Erdogan to the hotel, and we suddenly went there. This is the scenario they talk about. But is it right? When you have a look at it, Erdogan returns to Antalya from Warsaw on the 9th, and do you know what happens? General Hulusi Akar and the commanders-in-chief are making an inspection in Marmaris. Surprisingly. They return back and the gendarmerie sends all the ships on the shore away one day before Erdogan’s arrival. Erdogan says he decided on the 11th, if he decided on the 11th, how did these things happen on the 6th and 9th? Subsequently, Erdogan says in Istanbul, look, he does not take along his adjutants. Taking along adjutants is a constitutional obligation but he does not. He takes along only the private servants who help him at the hotel, they are sent there separately, not on the same helicopter, and he takes off to Marmaris from Istanbul. Under normal circumstances, there is a state’s guesthouse over there. You know the summer palace was completed for $600 million, you would expect him to go there. Erdogan flies to Cildir and lands at the Cildir Airport. The distance to Marmaris is 150 kilometers. Here is why I am telling you all this. On the very first day, Erdogan did some terrifying planning. He arranged four different aircraft in different airports. One of them belongs to Mehmet Cengiz, one of them belongs to the Dinckoks, another was an ATA plane, and he also arranged another plane from the fleet. All of these are planned. According to the official statement, the helicopter that carries Erdogan breaks down and they land in Cildir Airport, then Serkan Yazici is called to pick them up, and Serkan Yazici goes there with a helicopter and picks them up. So, in our hands, we have autopsy reports, witness testimonies, defense arguments, court documents. These thousands of documents show us one thing; Erdogan was very well prepared for the Marmaris chapter of July 15th. Before even getting to the hotel, he blacks out successfully. What kind of blackout? For example, he does not take along his adjutants. Normally and by law, his adjutants must be right next to him. He does not take along his military adjutants. He does not tell anybody where he goes. He goes to Marmaris and there is the state guesthouse there but, on his way, he gets off in Cildir Airport. He calls Serkan Yazici, the owner of the hotel he was going to stay at, to pick them up since their aircraft malfunctioned. However, there is no malfunction because when you check the radar report of the ATA aircraft appointed to Erdogan, which was caught with narcotics in Brazil at a later stage, flies to Cildir and then to Dalaman. There is no malfunction. It basically flew and according to the normal records, it was a parallel flight. But Erdogan has been hiding his own arrival since the very beginning. A part of the hotels gets closed, and nobody is allowed to that part. Erdogan works with his servants who accompany him in the hotel and something else happens when he is there. As you know, one of the most interesting incidents in Turkey that night, there are 4 fundamental weddings during the July 15th coup attempt. Imagine, all of the command echelons attend the wedding. There are a lot of weddings in Ankara and Istanbul. Commander of the Naval Forces hides inside a car park. Commander of the Land Forces is at another place. Commander of the Special Forces is in a secret place together with his wife and all of the belligerent officers and generals of the Air Forces, around 20 people, are at the wedding at Moda Marine Club. There is only one person who is not present in the wedding, and he is Yilmaz Ozkaya, a lieutenant general and a very important name for the Turkish Army. He does not attend the wedding of the most important person in the Air Forces, somebody who is expected to be a force commander in the future. One day earlier, he also goes to Marmaris and does something very interesting. As a lieutenant general, he goes to Dalaman and checks into the guesthouse for the non-commissioned officers. 

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Why, because he does a very critical part of the operation that was to be made on the 15th of July; sabotaging Gokhan Sonmezates and his team. 


He was there for that restraining mission. He arranges the things like denying to refuel the helicopter and not allowing the helicopter to land.  And two F16s, you know there is the Aksaz Naval Base over there, one of the biggest naval bases of Turkish Armed Forces. He is the one who instructed the F-16s to take-off and give the batting order. For example, take a glance at Yilmaz Ozkaya’s testimony, you will see that he was clearly sent there. Another important name for July 15th, a critical name from the Naval Forces, who was that? Admiral Cihat Yayci. He is with Erdogan there. He should not have been under normal circumstances. Here is why I am explaining all these. Erdogan was prepared very well for the Marmaris chapter of July 15h. Look, there were 4 private aircrafts standing by. All of these were planned before July 15th and on the morning of July 15th, all of these aircrafts flew to Izmir, Bodrum, Cildir, and Dalaman. If you are not aware of something, you cannot arrange four aircraft beforehand. An aircraft requires logistics, pilots, fuel, and route planning and etc. Erdogan arranged all of these.

Furthermore, Erdogan takes all the precautions at the hotel. For example, before all these precautions on Friday, he did something very important one day before you know. A day before the coup Erdogan signed a document called ‘EMASYA plan’ which was claimed to pave the way for coups. This document was brought to Marmaris by GAP aircraft from Ankara for Erdogan signature. This was done via private courier, it was signed, and then sent back. This was considered the biggest pedestal for the coup. Something different also happens there. On the 14th of July, I am explaining this to draw attention to detail, on the 14th of July, the aircraft of the Chief of Air Staff takes off from Istanbul and secretly goes there, stays there for around four hours, and then returns back in the evening. In that aircraft, there is Fikri Isik, the then Minister of Defense, the accompanying commander’s name is a mystery. Allegedly, the Chief of Air Staff is there. And the Chief of Air Staff is the man who carries out the most critical missions the next day. Along with Hulusi Akar, he was one of the men who completed the most important work. Erdogan had prepared for July 15th in a very organized way. And from the neighboring cities, an intense number of police officers from special operation units were transferred for the day of July 15th. Especially for the actions to be taken that evening. And as you know, Erdogan had not attended the Friday prayers.

We understand that the team of Brigadier General Sonmezates was restrained. So, why, we understand that they were restrained, the team you mentioned that had arrived earlier, what was their reason for the attack? Did they attack in order to leave the team of Sonmezates holding the bag? Or is it really an attack to get rid of Erdogan? Or was it planned to just leave the team of Sonmezates holding the bag?

Now, when you keep everything that happened on July 15th in perspective, everything was done in order to create an image of a coup. It couldn’t have been like that if it was a real coup. I mean, we cannot talk about all of the stories of July 15th. What were they? For example, starting from blocking the Bosphorus Bridge one way to offending the military schools… Turkey has the second biggest army of NATO. It is an army with great firepower. This cannot be called a coup and Turkey is a country with a coup history. It is fiction to the core and was planned to fail. Before going into the matter of General Sonmezates and his team on July 15th, I want to remind you in order to show why it was a conspiracy and planned by Erdogan. Istanbul Bosphorus Bridge was blocked by the cadets at 9:30 pm and Erdogan says he heard it from his brother-in-law. We know that he had extensive preparations. When he landed in Istanbul together with his son-in-law, he himself said that there was a preparation in the afternoon. Later on, after he made preparations, something like this happens. At around 11 pm, they call the journalists in Marmaris and tell them that Erdogan will make a statement. At that time, Turkey is in chaos, Prime Minister had made a statement, and the coup was announced to everybody, and all of the channels in the world is in a live broadcast. I myself was watching it on T.V. in Washington. Erdogan says that he will make a statement in front of the hotel. He appears before the cameras at 12.04 am, makes his statement, and consecutively connects to CNN through Facetime. But he appears to be in front of a curtain where there is some poor lighting. All of the Turkish media is under the control of Erdogan. The brother of the son-in-law of Erdogan is leading the biggest media group, Serhat Albayrak. They did not broadcast the statement Erdogan made at 12:04 am. Why? Because the ambiance of the coup and the chaos should have been escalated in order to create a coup image. By making Erdogan talking in front of a curtain under poor lighting in Facetime, they wanted to provide a cinematic and photographic scene. And later on, the things Erdogan mentioned in that Facetime were about the things which had not happened yet. And this brings forth the following. We see that Erdogan talks within the scope of a priorly organized plan. Consecutively, Erdogan does this at 1:43 am. According to the official reports, he gets on his helicopter, lands in Dalaman after a low altitude flight, gets on the plane at 1:43 am, and lands in Ataturk Airport at 3:20 am. This is the official discourse. However, when I do a cross-reading of all the statements, I see that this discourse is not true. Why? Now, I want to join up the dots before starting with Gokhan Sonmezates’ position. We are facing a very detailed plan made by a progressive intelligence. By drawing a coup image, this intelligence, this is also evidence that a part of the Turkish Armed Forces was dragged into a trap, and here is what they did here. Look, Erdogan lands in Ataturk Airport at 3:20, right? And, at what time do General Gokhan Sonmezates and his team arrive in Marmaris? 3:38 am. Erdogan had already made his statement, all of the channels tell that Erdogan left Marmaris and he already says it on live T.V., he says that he is leaving Marmaris and he calls the people to the squares. What kind of coup-plotting is this that you send a team to a place where Erdogan had already left? Now, the team of Gokhan Sonmezates, I will tell you a very important detail. On the 6th of July, at Dalaman Airport where Erdogan’s plane would land, the cameras near the VIP parking space of the plane break down. This was confirmed after July 15th. Look, on the 6th of July. The only people who could know that Erdogan would go there and park his plane are only Erdogan and his team. Because, according to the official July 15th discourse, the plotters made the final plans of the coup on the 14th of July.  Yes, but on the 6th they shut down the camera where Erdogan’s plane would park. Why do they do it? Because there is no footage of Erdogan getting on and off the plane. Why is this important? I will get there shortly because that night, Erdogan did not use the ATA plane. Everybody thought that Erdogan was onboard, but there is not one single footage, statement, or sentence. Nothing. There is no data. Because they shut down the camera of the plane in order not to have any footage. Because while Erdogan was pretending like he was on the plane, he was going somewhere else with a helicopter.


Where does he go?

He comes to Istanbul. He goes to Istanbul. I am getting to a point. After reading thousands of pages, a person might get confused. However, if you think about it as a movie, now, what happened on July 15th? You know some major tipped off MIT. That was a part of the whole fiction. Hakan Fidan, head of MIT, was on his way to General Staff, they sit down in the room of the Chief of Staff, and he gives instructions to the Chief of Staff. He says, “I am shutting down the airspace, no aircraft shall take off.” Well, this is a wrong decision but let’s assume it is the right one. What does Hakan Fidan do in the meantime? He calls Muhsin Kose, President Erdogan’s Chief of Security. He asks if they have enough forces in case of an attack. He answers they do. And they close the subject. I mean, you cannot even make a comedy movie with such a scenario. You received a notice about a coup, and this is what you ask to the security of the president of the country? Why do I care about this? After all these, Gokhan Sonmezates and his team fly to Cigli from Istanbul. Well, the airspace was shut down. How did this team get the permission? Do you know what this means? This means that Gokhan Sonmezates and his was team had been following orders from Hulusi Akar and Abidin Unal from the very beginning. There are only two people who have the authority to remove airspace restrictions in TSK. According to the current law, the Chief of Staff, and Deputy Chief of Staff. And also, the Chief of Air Staff. Now these people, Gokhan Sonmezates is a brigadier general of the Army Aviation. And among his team, there are very elite units from the combat search and rescue division. They chose the most elite and popular units. They are making this team wait for hours. Erdogan leaves Marmaris and goes to Istanbul and the entire country had already watched it on television but they make this team wait for hours and when Erdogan goes to Istanbul, they send the team to Marmaris. Why? Let’s get to your question now. Here is the crucial point. While Erdogan was on his way to Istanbul, a team arrives with three helicopters and starts shooting around in the hotel where Erdogan stays. They martyrize two police officers. There are wounded people and there are 45 witnesses of this incident. Occupational groups, the driver of the ambulance, the nurse, the English tourist who’s on vacation there, the police, and the civilians… Moreover, the partisan media itself broadcasted some of them and stated that three helicopters arrived and started shooting at around 1 am. Also, one of the people who actually testified is the former manager of Besiktas, Ertugrul Saglam. He is also on vacation in the hotel. Look at all the statements, they all focus on “around 1 am”. Now, there is the martyrized police officer, Cengiz Eker. The time of death is 12:43 am. Gokhan Sonmezates and his team were still waiting in Cigli at 12:43 am.

This is what I want to ask Mr. Adem. Who could have planned the first attack?

Here is the plan of the first attack. The plan of the first attack was to send a team over there after Erdogan departs, I mean the target already left the premises, why do you send a team? After it happens, this is a movement to make the people believe that this junta that plotted a coup tried to kill Erdogan. I mean, the man already left, there is no point to send the men there. But they do. And do you know what happens? Here is why it is important. Erdogan left and went to Istanbul. In the meantime, police officers from the special operation unit, the most distinguished forces of the Turkish police who have the most experience in a gunfight, from the adjacent regions start arriving there. Since there were already two martyrized police officers, the other police officers who arrived there were extremely motivated to take the arriving team out. And Erdogan knows the team was coming, this is in the testimonies. I will share with our viewers if I find them, but I could not just yet. And what happens there? The team arrives, I mean think about it. You stage a coup. Who is the first target of a coup? It is the president. Because he is the target. After the target leaves the place, you go to the place where the target has already left. I mean, nobody does this. Such absurdness cannot exist. The team with three helicopters arrives and start shooting from the rooftops, this is in the testimonies. Two police officers were martyrized, there were wounded people, etc. There are eyewitnesses. And once they leave the place and after Erdogan lands in Istanbul, they call the helicopter in Cigli and tell them to move. And when this team arrives in Marmaris with a helicopter, here is what the scene looks like, Police units with great firepower capacity, not only the security guards of the president. The aim was that the team arrived with three helicopters were to destroy the other team. What was going to happen next? The team that went there to kill Erdogan, meaning the coup plotters went there to kill Erdogan but they could not manage because the measures were already taken. The existence of a scenario where Erdogan was targeted is very important. Why? Look, I am living in Washington and for years, the propaganda teams of Erdogan come to Washington, and they say, “Look, they bombed the National Assembly. They tried to kill Erdogan.” These are the two most important arguments. They tried to kill Erdogan; Erdogan was saved from the coup. Yes, but you are the ones who planned it. Whoever sent that team over there, now I am coming to the important part. Why does it point out to Hulusi Akar and the Deputy Chief of Staff? I am coming to this point. Now, it is extremely clear that the individuals who sent this team here wanted to simulate that somebody really wanted to kill Erdogan. Because the real team is in Cigli. Look, it is very simple. While the team of plotters is in Cigli, Erdogan is in Istanbul. And the team goes to Marmaris and since nobody knows the address of the hotel, they ask a taxi driver on the way. This is in the testimonies; they stop a taxi driver called Teoman and ask the whereabouts of the hotel. It is such a funny situation… Then what happens? This hotel, this is the most important part, all of the radar records, all communication records, all radio logs of the team that goes to the hotel, martyrizes two police officers and wounds many people are erased. I repeat, they erase every record about those three helicopters. Now, these records exist in two places. Air Force and General Staff. The only power that can erase such records is the Chief of Staff and Chief of Air Staff. Meaning, no other power can just go and erase these records. We are talking about radar records; they have many backups and everything.

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General Sonmezates

So main purpose of the 1st attack was not to kill Erdogan at all?

I know there are people who support this thesis, but I have never encountered any data supporting it. On the contrary, rather than supporting this thesis, we have a lot of data that suggests they wanted it to look like there was a coup and Erdogan was going to be killed.

And how do you evaluate the fact that the English Ambassador at the time went to Marmaris sometime after the incident and examine the hotel? Was this just natural or was it because there were English tourists?

On the contrary, none of the tourists gave any kind of testimony. Moreover, one of them wrote a letter to PM Boris Johnson. He stated that he was in the hotel and was attacked and his wife was wounded. While his wife was jumping in front of the curtain, she gets wounded. The Englishman I interviewed told me about this. He said that he was a victim and wanted to testify, not the Turkish nor the English offices take any statements. The guy says that they entered his room and his wife was wounded and they started shooting here and there in the hotel he was staying in. It was a dead end. Secondly, it is in the book written by Murat Yetkin, the English ambassador. He also explained it in a few articles. I knew him while I was a journalist during my years Ankara. He has extensive sources on such topics. They are in the reception with the English ambassador on July 15th. And the English ambassador out of nowhere, by the way he is the head of English intelligence now. He asks out of nowhere, “What are your soldiers up to?” Murat Yetkin told about this much later. This is a topic open for criticism actually. Interestingly enough. the English ambassador had a good grasp of the subject. While nobody had any kind of thought about July 15th, he asks Murat Yetkin, “What are your soldiers up to? There is some movement going on.” And Murat Yetkin is competent about such topics, I mean he is not asking this to any journalist. And here is another interesting point. There is a British helicopter carrier off the Marmaris coast on the day of July 15th. Is this a coincidence? I don’t think so. Because the British Navy has a helicopter carrier called HMS Ocean. You know the British Government has military bases in the Mediterranean, in Southern Cyprus. The carrier is in a drill in the Mediterranean. And I encountered something interesting when I looked into the records about the traces of the drill.

What was it?

In the previous years, the British Navy made all the data public about this drill and even they shared images. I mean the British Navy loves to show off their military power. However, there is nothing about the one on July 2016. 

So, you mean that in the past before 2016, there is a lot of data, footage, and video about the drill conducted by the English in the region or the drills conducted in the region after July 15th, however, the data about the drill conducted on this date is almost nonexistent.  

I could not find out. I mean, I combed out but could not find out such footage and what’s interesting is that what was an English helicopter carrier doing there? Why was it there?

They are there for the drill, but nobody knows what they are doing.

I mean, over there, under normal circumstances it should have been closer to Cyprus. Because I made research before if it is normal for that ship to be there. It is supposed to be a bit farther east from its exact position but interestingly enough, it is off the Marmaris coast, and here is something more interesting. Now, the people who were staying at the same hotel as Erdogan, the ones who were reached out and talked to state that nobody even saw Erdogan’s bodyguards. I wonder whether Erdogan waited aboard a ship off the shore before everything started on that evening. Why am I saying this? Because according to the testimony of the governor given to the parliamentary investigation committee, there were some ship mobility. There is a statement, “The ship was ready”. Now, nobody pursued this statement. This statement was made by the governor to the parliamentary. Let’s moot an idea. I wonder if Erdogan, until he was able to confirm that everything was under control when things started on July 15th up until a specific hour at night, waited aboard a ship and then went to the hotel. This is important because you know when the helicopters fly at low altitude close to the surface, you get. out of radar’s coverage. Well, we are not soldiers, but we learned it since we studied how to get out of a radar’s coverage, why and at how many feet you could be out, etc. When we observe all of these, I say let’s hold this question inside our minds. What was HMS Ocean ship doing there that night? And did Erdogan wait off the shore until a specific time at night? Let’s save this question aside. Here is another point. There is not one single data showing Erdogan went to Istanbul with the ATA plane.   

What does this mean?

I think that when Erdogan sent the ATA plane to Istanbul, when he portrayed it as a target, and there is this thing we always talk about, they say Erdogan’s coup to the jamaat and Gulen Movement; Erdogan’s adjutant, bodyguard, the pilot who flies him, the technician of the helicopter, all of the members of this team got the sack and was arrested. I mean everybody around is inside the job, but everybody leaves well alone. If you process this backwards, you will be able to show who the actual coup plotter was. It is quite obvious who was not the plotter. Let me say this here, Erdogan states, when you cross read the statements, Erdogan gets confused about what time he found out about the coup. He always mentioned some different time. He said something different to Al Jazeera, another thing to Reuters, another to France 24, another to TRT. I mean nobody could forget the time of an incident like a coup. This is not possible, he mentioned four different time frames. And then there is this, he explains that they got on the plane, and he told the pilot to center the plane en route to Istanbul and Ankara. And then he says that they reached halfway through, and he asked how much fuel left, and they answered 3 hours. Now, the plane Erdogan uses is Gulfstream ATA plane. It is a Gulfstream 550. It has a 14-hour flight range, and it is a VIP plane, and I flew on that plane. This is a VIP plane, and it has a range of 14 hours. Saying that it has fuel for 3 hours is evidence that he was flying onboard the Presidentship’s Sikorsky VIP helicopter because that helicopter has fuel for only 3.5 hours. He says that after they take off. And they they say that who are among the team that went to greet the President? There is the Commander of the 1st Army. He was one of the critical names that night. He says that the Commander of the 1st Army greeted him. And the Commander of the 1st Army states that he did not see Erdogan until 6 am that morning. There are a lot of different details as such. Why are they important? Because the statement of Erdogan has a very deep obscuration. Take these statements, take the details of the gunfight in Kule, take what happened in Kule, two of the pilots in Gokhan Sonmezates’ team worked for MIT, which is an interesting detail, I mean nothing was left empty on July 15th. Everything was designed for an unsuccessful fiction. And what happens here? Now, our viewers might get confused. Why are all these details so important? They are very important because somebody made a fraction inside TSK look like they were staging a coup on July 15th but in fact, they made a coup to Turkey. They made a real coup with an unreal coup. They staged a coup with decrees, changed the regime, kicked tens of thousands of people out of TSK, hundreds of thousands were taken into custody and tortured, hundreds died. Why? Because they are saying that they attempted a coup on July 15th. But I am saying that the coup was not real. The coup is a fiction, and the most important part of this fiction is Marmaris. Because there is nobody that could erase the radar records of the team that had three helicopters there. How is it possible for this data to be lost? The HTS records? Gokhan Sonmezates is the brigadier general leading this team. He is a very privileged soldier. He was well-bred. And do you know what he told in his testimony? The power that held us three hours inside the helicopter in Cigli sent us to our deaths. Because Erdogan had already left and instead there were a bunch of special forces who are waiting to execute you. Why is it so important? Look, let’s think simultaneously. What happened around that time? Semih Terzi was killed in Ankara. The brightest general of the special forces inside Special Forces Command. And this person was somebody who knew the cross-border crimes of Erdogan. Semih Terzi. And although there is airspace restriction, a plane was sent for Semih Terzi from Ankara and Commander of the Special Forces and Commander of the Air Force personally follow it. A flight to Silopi-Diyarbakir-Ankara is completed and after this flight, Semih Terzi virtually was greeted with a red carpet and once he gets inside the Special Forces Command, he was executed. A very important name because he was the most critical name of the sequence of July 15th. Why? Because he was the one who informed Gokhan Sonmezates. And if they would manage to kill Gokhan Sonmezates in Marmaris, they would get rid of the two most critical names. They would be silenced forever. Gokhan Sonmezates appeared in court and said that he only wants one single thing. He wanted the records of the phone conversations between the General Command and the military base in Cigli on July 15th. HTS records. And two, when they had not arrived in Marmaris when they were still in Cigli, he wanted the records of the helicopters flew in Marmaris. He asked these to be brought to court. The court did not take any of these requests seriously.  And then Gokhan Sonmezates said that he reminds the scene in the movie Brave Heart, that popular movie of Mel Gibson, he actually witnesses that his own king actually betrays him. In fact, the king was giving orders to him. And he said the following by reminding that scene; he did not exactly say it, but the meaning was clear. The architect and founder of this conspiracy implied that it was actually the current government but just when he was about the reveal, a bullet entered inside his cell in prison. In Turkey, this means that, I mean it might be different in different countries, but the jargon is quite clear in general, if you send a bullet to somebody, it means an execution is coming or a threatening with death if details revealed. And this way, Gokhan Sonmezates was silenced.

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Aydogan Vatandas / Editor-in-Chief
Aydogan Vatandas / Editor-in-Chief
Aydoğan Vatandaş is an investigative journalist from Turkey, specializing in Political Science and International Relations. He is the author of 13 books, many of which have become bestsellers in Turkey. 'Reporting from the Bridge' and 'Hungry for Power: Erdogan's Witch Hunt and The Abuse of State Power' are the first two books published in English in the U.S


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