Furkan Çetinkaya, one of the Turkish Air Force Academy cadets who were released from prison last week, paid a visit to main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Wednesday.
Çetinkaya was accompanied by his mother, Melek Çetinkaya, during the visit at the CHP headquarters in Ankara.
At least 67 military cadets who had been incarcerated in İstanbul’s Silivri prison for over six years on coup charges, were released last Tuesday based on a recent ruling by Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals.
Turkey experienced a controversial military coup attempt on the night of July 15, 2016 which, according to many, was a false flag aimed at entrenching the authoritarian rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by rooting out dissidents and eliminating powerful actors such as the military in his desire for absolute power.
A total of 259 military cadets were detained on coup charges on July 16, 2016 and were arrested four days later. The cadets were indicted one year after they were sent to jail, and their trial was concluded in May 2018. One hundred seventy-eight of the cadets were given life sentences on charges of attempting to overturn the constitutional order and attempting to overthrow the Turkish government and parliament by use of force as well as membership in a terrorist organization.
The cadets say they had no information about a coup attempt unfolding and were acting on orders from their superiors, who told them there was a terrorist attack.