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Top aides to Erdogan and General Chief of Staff reject accusations

The 221 defendants – some of them claimed to be members of the “Council of Peace at Home”- appeared on the trial about the events happened at the Headquarters of the General Staff during the July 15 coup attempt.

Defendants, including Ali Yazıcı, former aide of President Erdoğan, began to give their defense. In his first statement, he claimed that he had nothing to do with the coup attempt. Yazıcı was accused to be member of the Gulen Movement and infiltrated to President Erdogan’s close circle as a top military aide.

Ali Yazıcı said that while he worked as an attache in Sofia, Bulgaria, he was appointed as the aide of President on July 27, 2015. He continued as follows: “Although my turn of regiment command has come, I was appointed to this job. I think I serve with loyalty for one year. I do not think I had any problems. I have never left the President until July 2016. Due to the Ramadan Holiday before the coup attempt, our President left for a two-day holiday and said that I could also leave during this time. On July 9, I went to Tokat for a week. I returned to Ankara on July 14th. I stayed in my lodging in Ankara. On 15 July, I took the road at 17.00 to join the President’s Antalya program, scheduled on 16 July. Before leaving, a person who tells me that he is Emin Lieutenant, whom I never knew while he was in the Presidential Guard Regiment, learned that I would go to Antalya. He came with me saying that he would also go to Antalya. We took a break in Afyon.”

“Fatih Kasırga called me”

“In the meantime, the key advisor of the President Fatih Kasırga called me first. He said ‘Something is happening. Do you have any information?’ I said I’d check and call him back. I made some phone calls during this time. The protocol manager in Antalya called me and told me that the program had been canceled and then I gave up and headed to İzmir. I told the Emin Lieutenant to get off the car if he wanted to. However, he said to me, ‘Let’s go to Çiğli, commander’. In Çiğli we followed the events for two hours on television. I returned to Ankara in 16th and detained in 17th.”

 

After the statement he started to answer the press questions. He said: “The President himself chose me. He has done research about me for 3-4 months. If I had anything to do with this, he would not have chosen me. I am being accused by assassination of the President. I do not do it when there is always opportunity. It is said that I will assassinate when I leave our President. This is not plausible.”

Prosecuter asked him: “You define yourself as an Atatürkist officer. Who did this coup attempt? Do you have any information?” And he said: “I think of that for 10 months but did not reach a solution.”

Yazıcı responded to the question about the ‘coup’ joke, which he allegedly made on the Presidential plane that appeared in newspapers as follows: ” This was not me, but the President’s advisors. I learned the coup on 15th July. Nevertheless it was being mentioned one month ago.”

Yazıcı used his right to remain silence for the question if they were the advisors who talked about the coup one month ago.

“I have no sincere statement”

In addition to Yazıcı, Levent Türkan, top aide of Chief of General Staff, also gave his statement. He said: “I was scattered, I was tied to serum and my brain x-rays were taken. I have no sincere statement.”

Türkkan had said that he was a member of the FETÖ in the statement that he claimed to give under pressure and had given the names of many people.

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