The Centenarian Republic of Turkey undoubtedly has a history rich in coups, with a record of almost one every decade during a certain period of its existence. To borrow from the satirical lines of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, all coups are equal (in letter); but some are more equal than others (in spirit). Seven years into the current one, one can add an observation that others are unique (in essence). They have no equal. They stand alone, like Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, which snows near the Equator when it is neither in the Arctic nor the Antarctic.
Such is the controversy surrounding Turkey’s July 15, 2016 coup, which President Erdogan has consistently blamed on the Hizmet (Service) Movement and placed squarely on the shoulders of Muslim cleric and scholar Fethullah Gülen, who has been living in exile in the US since 1999. Erdogan has also coined the term “Fethullah Terrorist Organization” (FETO), leading the world to believe in the existence of such a group.
However, as the saying goes, lies have short legs. As fate would have it, this year’s July 15th coup anniversary coincided with the traditional half-hour noon silent sit-in at Istanbul’s Galatasaray Square by a group calling itself Saturday Mothers. The group has been protesting against forced disappearances and political murders in Turkey since 1995, demanding answers about their missing relatives during the chain of Turkish coups, including the current one. What a coincidence! What a moment of self-reflection for Turkey’s leadership and an update for the global community!
The question arising from the circumstances surrounding this year’s event is: What were President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) Party, the ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), “friendly governments,” and the people of Turkey, both at home and abroad, doing? Were they celebrating the post-coup, now craftily designated “Democracy and National Unity Day”? Or perhaps mourning the lives of the 253 people killed and the 2,734 left injured? Alternatively, could the people of Turkey have been grieving the loss (or murder) of those innocent lives or lamenting the subsequent forced disappearances and near extinction of human rights in their country to this day?
What were the accompanying events in countries such as Cameroon, Belgium, Jordan, Georgia, Russia, Lebanon, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Uzbekistan, Nigeria, Mauritania, France, Ireland, Germany, Egypt, and Qatar, as listed by the state-run Anadolu, targeting?
For example, Turkey’s “brotherly and friendly” leaders, like Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehba Sharif, said, “While recalling the supreme sacrifices of the brave Turkish people, we pay our rich tribute and respects to the martyrs who valiantly resisted the heinous attempt to deprive them of their democracy and basic rights.” Azerbaijan’s President Ilhasm Aliyev “underlined the victory obtained at the cost of the blood and lives of martyrs, confirming the people’s love for their homeland…” What were they doing? Weren’t they being hypocritical in the way that African indigenous knowledge describes as “kumpaka mtu mafuta kwa mgongo wa chupa” – literally translated as smearing oil on someone’s body using a bottle rim?
Now, without the slightest reservation, the lies about the coup have been completely exposed. Call it spilling the beans or letting the cat out of the bag, if you please. We now know for sure that the coup was staged. It was a false flag operation. It was Erdogan’s brainchild, blaming Gülen for it. Erdogan can no longer escape from it. It is evident that it was a planned self-coup attempt. What else could have happened? It had to fail.
The fact that the coup was a tragedy is clear from the number of deaths and injuries overnight. But how was it orchestrated and carried out, leading to widespread harm? Former serviceman Tugeneral Gokhan Sahin Sonmezates, who was sentenced to 141 years of aggravated life imprisonment, tells the story. His firsthand information exonerates Gülen and reveals Erdogan’s honesty, ethics, and principles (as for his faith matters, that is for God to judge). According to Sonmezates, what was the plan for July 15th?
After providing some background information, Sonmezates admits, “Yes, I joined the revolution. I also stated what I was doing. (But) July 15th is not a FETO coup. I am not a FETO member. There are many high-ranking people who participated in this coup and are not FETO members, as the MIT knows. I won’t reveal their names because I haven’t received permission from them. Yes, there was a plan on July 15th, but it was not followed. I was also very surprised and learned a lot after the trials began. Everyone was silent. I don’t know why this order was given. I’m no longer interested… Hulusi’s men, my commanders… they know who these men are… July 15th will not be resolved unless these people make a statement.”
Muhsin Kutsi Baris, the Commander of the Presidential Guard Regiment at the time, stated that he understood that something was discussed and planned among Sonmezates, Abidin Unal, and Hulusi Akar. One of Sonmezates’ statements argues, “If you are a staff colonel and the Commander of the Guard Regiment and you are not aware of anything, if your registry supervisor is now the Minister of National Defense, the venerable person Hulusi Akar, there is nothing you can do. I understand now what kind of plot I have been drawn into. July 15th is one of the biggest events written in world history. The MIT Undersecretary, who received a coup report that day, rushed to the headquarters that would carry out the coup and met with Akar and Guler. We didn’t have a chance to know either. Not everyone has the opportunity or the luxury to be like Sonmezates. General Staff 2 President, the venerable Yasar Guler, ordered exercises, not training, at every meeting I attended. While we were preparing for the anniversary ceremonies of the Guard Regiment, Hulusi Akar said, ‘Don’t you know the state of the country? Bombs are exploding everywhere. Neither training nor ceremony; I want a drill.'”
July 15th will not be resolved until Hulusi Akar, Yasar Guler, Hakan Fidan, Zekal Aksakalli, Engin Dinc, and Sadik Ustun come forward and testify. It is a conspiracy established by the state from start to finish, and we are the victims.”
Former Major General Osman Unlu also referred to the situation of a citizen who was martyred in front of the Gendarmerie General Command on the night of July 15th as an example and requested that 15 gendarmes sentenced for this incident be heard.
After hearing from the defendants, their lawyers gave their statements. Attorney Ayten Izmirli emphasized that the martyrs’ case was separated in the middle of the General Staff Roof Case, and no defense was made regarding it. Izmirli said, “I hope I’m wrong, but it seems that you are going to issue a verdict stating that ‘the roof case has been finalized.'”
The people of Izmir stated that there were seven deaths that were not subject to any investigation or prosecution. “I may not have a voice in Parliament, but they are trying to blame all the unresolved deaths on the defendants. Some died falling out of pickup trucks or had heart attacks on the way to the democracy watch, but you are waiting for the Yangitay. So, why are you making this judgment?”
After the completion of the proceedings, the Prosecutor submitted his opinion, requesting that the case files in which the main perpetrators were tried in the killings and the General Staff Roof Case at the Supreme Court be expected to be finalized.
With all these revelations, where can Erdogan and his government hide their faces? Summarizing Sonmezates’ allegations, it can be inferred that the General Staff always has a coup plan for each term, which is revealed when the time comes.
In five concise sentences, it can be concluded that the July 15th coup had nothing to do with Gulen. It was a conspiracy established by the state from start to finish. It will be remembered as one of the biggest events in world history. It will not be resolved until Hulusi Akar, Yasar Guler, Hakan Fidan, Zekal Aksakalli, Engin Dinc, and Sadik Ustun come forward and testify. It represents Erdogan’s tragic lie of his life and the century.