In the previous post, we tried to dissect the testimony Lt. Col. Levent Turkkan and laid bare many contradictions that basically rendered the confession useless.
In that testimony, Turkkan mentions about Major Mehmet Akkurt and particularly highlights his ties to Gulenists. As soon as he reveals that Akkurt is allegedly a Gulenist, the major turns from a major hero into a traitor.
A day after the coup attempt, one of the deceased army officers was Mehmet Akkurt. Akkurt is from Aydinli province of Turkey, where the news of his death was received with overwhelming grief, with local news outlets declaring that he is the hero of the province.
Soon after, a local mosque in a village where Akkurt was supposed to be laid to rest recited a na’at, a religious song sung in praise of Prophet Muhammad usually to announce the death of someone (sela in Turkish). The imam announced that their village has a ¨martyr¨ and called everyone to participate in the funeral prayer. Turkish flags were raised and preparations were made to receive and bid farewell to the martyr. Many people soon filled the house of Akkurt’s family.
Meanwhile, major national Turkish media outlets published stories detailing the heroism shown by Major Akkurt. Milliyet, for example, wrote that Akkurt was killed while trying to defend army chief Hulusi Akar and his deputy Gen. Yasar Guler.
All hell broke loose when the testimony of Lt. Col. Turkkan was revealed. Turkkan claimed that (or at least in the document that allegedly said was his confession) Akkurt was a Gulenist. The mosque where Akkurt’s funeral prayer was supposed to take place rejected his body. He was taken to a graveyard directly. Many people who came to attend his funeral returned home. Turkish flags were removed. Milliyet and other news outlets deleted their stories. Soon pro-government news websites published stories about ¨treacherous¨ major. He was repeatedly blasted for helping the putschist soldiers.
The situation is very confusing. It is hard to draw concrete conclusions, but it seems highly likely that Akkurt was not a putschist and in fact died while confronting them. If Turkkan’s information is true that he was a Gulenist, it is possible that the government tried to hide his death as a hero because that would destroy their narrative.
Authorities must be able to explain why they first announced Akkurt as a hero and then cast him aside as a villain once Turkkan said he was a Gulenist.