Lt. Col. Levent Türkkan, aide-de-camp of Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, on Monday recanted his previous testimony during a hearing at the Ankara 17th High Criminal Court, where 221 suspects are standing trial for a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, saying he was probably drugged before his testimony, CNN Türk reported.
“It was like we were all living in a dream. I think I was given something [a drug],” said Türkkan, who was accused of being a ringleader of the failed coup attempt.
Türkkan’s first testimony was key to supporting the Turkish government’s argument that a failed military coup attempt last July was orchestrated by Gülenists in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
Underlining that he could not express what he had been subjected to, Türkkan said photos of him leaked to the press are the most important evidence in providing an explanation.
Türkkan said you can make a person who is not conscious say whatever you want and have them sign it.
Expressing that he could not believe what he said in previous testimony, Türkkan said he had been waiting impatiently to speak at court today.
Lt. Col. Türkkan said he had refused to take a role in the coup.
Several days after the military coup attempt last summer, the state-run Anadolu news agency published Türkkan’s confession, considered to be the highest-level “evidence” that Gülenists were behind the coup because he said he was a Gülenist and that he was in contact with Gülenists during the planning and the execution stages of the coup attempt. According to Türkkan’s initial testimony, he knew about the coup plot a day in advance, on July 14.
Türkkan’s testimony was published by most Turkish media outlets back then along with a photo of him in which he appeared to have been tortured.
In a photo released by Anadolu, Türkkan was seen with bruises and injuries on his face, abdomen, shoulder and hands. In his first testimony, Türkkan said that he asked for a pen and a paper and wrote the testimony while he was waiting at the police station; however, the nature of his injuries would apparently not have allowed him to use a pen.
The Gülen group is accused by the Turkish government of mounting the coup attempt.
The movement denies any involvement.
One hundred thirty generals and admirals in the Turkish military were either dismissed or suspended as part of the widespread purge following the failed coup attempt in July of last year.