Five pilots who bombed Turkey’s coup base on July 15 arrested over coup charges

Five pilots who bombed the Akıncı Air Base in Ankara to halt the controversial coup attempt on the night of July 15, 2016, were later arrested as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding the takeover attempt, a former military officer said.

Ahmet Zeki Öçok, a retired military prosecutor told CNN Türk TV channel on Saturday that the five pilots who bombed the Akıncı Air Base, the alleged headquarters of the coup attempt, at 4.30 in the morning, have been arrested on accusation of membership to the movement.

Earlier, Ekrem Türk, a 34-year old police officer who fought to prevent the advance of army tanks in Turkish capital on July 15, 2016 was also rounded up over his alleged links to the Gülen movement.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced on July 7, 2017 that at least 50,504 people have been arrested and 168,801 have been the subject of legal proceedings since the coup attempt. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) July 19, 2017

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