For days now people in Turkey have been discussing the four hours that elapsed on 15 July during the assessment of intelligence about the possibility of a coup. The President has said he heard about the coup from his brother-in-law; the PM said he got it from his close relatives. Of course there is going to be a serious investigation on the subject and those responsible will be determined.

Then again, how much difference would it have made to learn four hours earlier that a coup was going to take place? What if this wasn’t an act of a minor group within the army and this influence (of the group within the army) was achieved prior to the last ten years or before the military trials, and these personnel were infiltrated into the military in the last 40 years for exactly this moment?

An example will make this more clear.

The coupists had an appointment list according to which the police are making arrests. All positions in non-political civil establishments from the Merkez Bankası (the Central Bank) to TRT (the state-owned media network) and the army were going to be filled according to the names on this list. The list contains over 400 names ranging from generals/admirals to majors.

The names are categorized into three groups: the ones that would get promotions; the ones that would keep their position with the side note “continuing”; the ones that would be ”under command” of various force commands.

It could be deduced that the third category would mean discharge, whereas the others are complicit in the coup.

For example, Air Force commander Abidin Ünal was to be appointed ”under the command’ of Air Force Command.” On the other hand Naval Forces Commander Bülent Bostanoğlu doesn’t have such a side note.

Most striking is the appointment of General Akın Öztürk – who is said to be the leader of the coup- to the post of Second Chief of the General Staff. This means the coupists considered someone else as the Chief of the General Staff.

There are over 80 names in the list that are thought to be siding with the coupists. That’s a frightening number.

We readfrom the news that a majority of these Brigadier Generals and Commodores were taken into custody. We don’t know the status of all the names since we don’t have a complete list.

If you delve into these names you will come across a striking outlook.

The executive assistants of the last eight Chiefs of the General Staff, the closest people they work with, are FETÖ (Gulenist Terror Organization) members and they are complicit in the July 15th Coup.

We know about Hulusi Akar’s executive assistant Brigadier General Ramazan Güzel from testimonies. He was the one pouring down arrest warrants from headquarters.

Executive assistant Brigadier General O.K., who was the closest colleague of previous Chief of General Staff Necdet Özel, is also present in the coupists’ list. We don’t know if he’s under custody or not.

Then again, who was the executive assistant of Işık Koşaner, who acted as Chief of the General Staff between 2010-2011 and resigned as a protest to the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) trials? It was Brigadier General Semih Terzi, who came from Silopi on the night of the coup to assume control over Special Forces Command and was killed by Sergeant Ömer Halisdemir when he walked in.

We go a little further back in time, to 2008 and 2010. Chief of the General Staff was İlker Başbuğ. His executive assistant was Captain Bülent İlhan. His name isn’t on the list. Then again he didn’t get an assignment when he was supposed to be promoted to General staff per common practice. It seems that even a Chief of the General Staff didn’t have the power to make it happen.

That doesn’t mean Başbuğ was left alone. His executive assistant back at Land Forces Command, Ş.T.– who is now in a critical post abroad- is mentioned with the same group.

But we can go even further back to the times when the Ergenekon or Balyoz trials didn’t exist. Between the years of 2006-2008, the Chief of General Staff was Yaşar Büyükanıt. When he penned the April 27th e-memorandum maybe he had Major General Oğuz Serhat Habiboğlu with him as executive assistant. Habiboğlu is Kuvvet Geliştirme ve Kaynak Yönetim Daire Başkanı (Chairman of the Force Development and Resource Management Department) and was taken into custody, charged with supporting the coup. We are still going back. Major General T.S. was the executive assistant of 2002-2006 Chief of General Staff Hilmi Özkök. His name is also mentioned in the coupists’ appointment list.

Now we arrived to the years prior to the AK Party administration. The Chief of General Staff was Hüseyin Kıvrıkoğlu. He was the one that stated that February 28th was going to “last a thousand years.” It was between the years of 1998 and 2002. His executive assistant was Erdal Öztürk. The person who was live on air on the night of July the 15th to order his soldiers to return to their barracks but taken into custody in the morning for allegedly supporting the coup was İstanbul Third Army Corps Commander Liutenant-General Erdal Öztürk.

If we had known the name of his executive assistant, maybe we would have been able to trace the chronology back to Chief of General Staff İsmail Hakkı Karadayı, who was in that position on 28th February (1997). What we know about those years is that between 1996 and 1998 Akın Öztürk was present as military attaché in Israel where February 28th supporters would often visit and sign military agreements.

What we looked at so far included only executive assistants. They are the closest colleagues of Chiefs of the General Staff. Similar lists can be made for aide-de-camps, personnel, and the directors of intelligence departments.

It’s obvious that you would get pretty similar results.

That is to say the  “Cemaat” (Gulenists/Hizmet/FETÖ) have been in commanding positions in General Staff Headquarters not since yesterday or three years ago or the start of AK Party administration but for a long, long time. Throughout this 18-year long period, it is as if executive assistant positions — which are like shadows of Chiefs of the General Staff — were being handed over exclusively within the Cemaat establishment. Maybe even for a longer period than that.

Well then, when did these Brigadier Generals get into military schools? As of now, Military Academy graduates of 1987-1991 are on duty as Brigadier Generals. This means they must have entered military high schools between the years of 1979 and 1983.

So we are talking about an at least 40 year long project. But it can be older than that.

The year was 1960…

“When the 1960 coup took place, I couldn’t get over it at all. That day we ran off and returned to a village. I told him to obtain a weapon. And one grenade each. Shame on me (literal translation: They shouldn’t call me anything) if I don’t blow this assembly (place) up on their heads. In fact I went into military service 7-8 months later. Then First Lieutenant Mehmet Özmutlu – he retired as Lieutenant Colonel — used to favour me. I used to tell him “If only they assign me to General Staff.” I had the intention to sabotage. I wanted to blow the General Staff HQ up, to get revenge from those men whatever the price. While I was preparing the plans I talked about what I wanted to do with Yaşar Hoca (Tunagör). He told me ‘My son! Let me ask you something. With whom (decent) are you going to replace them when you kill them?’ I hadn’t thought about this until that moment. ‘One slime will go, another will come.’ This idea helped me.”

(Excerpt from Şeytan’ın Gülen Yüzü (Smiling Face of Satan) in which Latif Erdoğan used the parts he excluded when he penned  Küçük Dünyam (My Little World) which was a book on the memoirs of Fetullah Gülen.)

We don’t know if young preacher Fethullah Gülen, aged 22 and enraged so much by the 27 May 1960, came up with the idea of creating an establishment within the army before the coup or after it.

But 15th of July 2016 wasn’t his first coup attempt.

On 11th of November, 1961…

That day, the brigade in Mamak that Gulen was in (he started military service in Ankara), took part in the coup on 22nd February, 1962 on the side of Talat Aydemir:

“That final night we were really excited. One moment Radyo Evi (the Radio Station) was being captured by them, another moment by us. One moment the coup was getting announced, then the radio was saying ‘the rebels were repelled.’ Jets started flying over us. Their intention was to destroy Mamak. Our side surrendered…”.


Gülen was sent to İskenderun as a radio operator. He was preaching sermons in mosques there. One day he wwas taken into custody after he gave a very harsh sermon. Though the arrest only lasted a short time:

“Arif Teker (First Sergeant) went to General Staff directly. I won’t ever forget Necdet Bey’s chivalry at that time. He was a Major. I thought he was a Lieutenant Colonel. He was an optometrist. Even though it was forbidden to see me, he jumped over barbed wires and came in in his official clothes. He hugged me. Because this person was a navy officer, soldiers mistook his rank and said ‘What kind of a private is that? Colonels and admirals (high-ranked soldiers) are coming to see him.’ and got scared (of me)… He (Necdet Bey) mentioned it later: They said to him ‘How come you go near a private and hug him?’ and he answered ‘He is not a private. He is a different (special) man. I would even kiss his feet.’…” (Erdoğan, p. 62)

And 1969…

This is the date on the first state intelligence document on “Preacher Fetullah Gülen.”  A citizen made a complaint to the Secretariat-General of the National Security Council about Gülen, who was on duty in İzmir. Upon this complaint the İzmir Police Department ran an inquiry about Gülen and sent it to the Interior Ministry as classified document. In this report, Gülen was mentioned as follows:

“In his circle, he is accepted as an extremely honest, honorable, moral, and true Muslim.”


He was arrested after the coup. He was released through a general amnesty. At that time the first dershanes (cram schools) and dormitories were being opened in İzmir.


He was on the wanted list after the coup. He heard about the September 12th 1980 coup in the afternoon:

“One or two soldiers close to them (high ranked) came to me a day before the coup towards afternoon, and told me as a warning that there could be movements in the military. Therefore I already knew about the possibility of the coup in the afternoon. It was late in the afternoon, two of their junior friends (military students) came in the evening again – now they expelled one of them, the other remains connected- I woke them up at night, I said ‘Go away from the house, your people will revolt today’. We got them up and they left the house…” (Erdoğan, P.119)

Yaşar Büyükanıt, who was the Kuleli Military School Commander from 1983-1986, struggled against the Cemaat (Gülenist) establishment at the school. Sabri Uzun, in his book İn (The Lair), wrote that an archive on Büyükanıt has been held by the Cemaat since the year 1985.

The headline of the 1986 story by Ruşen Çakır and Can Şen in Nokta Magazine read: “Orduya Sızan Dinci Grup: Fethullahçılar” (The Religious Group Infiltrating the Army: Gülenists). The story contained details of an investigation started at Kuleli Military High School and carried on at various other military schools. The investigation included an allegation that military school entrance exam questions were confiscated fromFethullaçılar (Gulenists) beforehand. As result of the investigations 33 students from Kuleli Military High School, 16 students from Bursa Işıklar Military High School, and 17 students from İzmir Maltepe Military High School were expelled from their schools on the grounds that they associated with Gulenists.

By 1996, the Cemaat had evolved into such a power that they were aware of even preliminary meetings before the Supreme Military Council.

Let’s read an excerpt from the testimony of Alaattin Kaya, ex-owner of Zaman daily (Gülen’s mouthpiece) before the TBMM Darbeleri Araştırma Komisyonu (Turkish Parliament Commission to Investigate Military Coups):

“ALAATTİN KAYA: Now, the honorable MP shouldn’t… (misunderstand) what I’m going to say, I would like to say a very interesting thing about the late Erbakan Hoca (Necmettin Erbakan, ex-PM) and that is: Again at those times, like nowadays, there were documents, information, tapes which were sent to us by patriotic individuals. That is to say, it’s not like they exist today and didn’t exist back then; they wouldn’t see the daylight in the past, that’s all. I mean back then too, developments in the army or in other places were being documented and sent to us. Some of them (intel) were being shared with a few people behind closed doors, some were being shared with authorities… My dear Hoca (Erbakan), my sainted Hoca was going to attend the first Council, the Military Council, and the military wing were taking it very seriously. The tapes in my possession state that: ‘What if this man asks us, how many signatures are needed for discharging a guy?’ they decide on the spot, one of them says 5, another says 10, and they decide on 46, 46 signatures they say and they skip that item. Second question they ask, they discuss it among themselves, they say ‘We shall say we readmit some soldiers under the name of rehabilitation.’ Thereupon they discuss the number of signatures on that too and they decide on 6. They have real anxiety over 3 or 5 other similar items. After that they say ‘What we’re doing is a constitutional crime, they’d burn us if they found out.’ A third point, more importantly, is that even though the Council hadn’t happened yet, talks on the tape indicate that the number of discharges is 76, but the Council wasn’t there yet.

CHAIRMAN: On the tapes.

ALAATTİN KAYA: On the tapes…

CHAIRMAN: Were these tapes in possession of Erbakan at the time?

MEHMET ŞEKER (Gaziantep MP): Who was eavesdropping on them?

ALAATTİN KAYA: Well, the same people who documented the records that are at hand today, they listened back then too, I can’t know…”

On March 21 1999, in regard to an operation carried out by the Aegean Army Command and the İzmir Police Department, Uludağ and Marmara University students N.C. and S.C., and Maltepe Military High School students M.Y., codenamed “Numan,” M.S., codenamed “İsmail,” H.Y.K., codenamed “Ali,” and Y.A., codenamed “Enes,” along with an unnamed Scripture teacher were taken into custody from two Cemaat houses on Yenişehir Zeytinlik street. N.C and S.C. were dispatched to the courthouse after their interrogation by the İzmir Public Prosecution office. The other students were released after their testimonies were taken by the İzmir Public Prosecution office.

The following day,  Fetullah Gülen left Turkey for the U.S.

In 2002, the AK Party was elected to power.

To be continued…

Yıldıray Oğur
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