A Turkish high court has ruled that accusing then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for orchestrating the July 2016 coup in a bid to be president is not an offense, critical news portal Diken reported on Tuesday.
The Turkish Court of Cassation (Yargitay) saw the remarks by a former silentiary at the Inegol 3rd Criminal Court of First Instance as “harsh criticism”, rejecting an appeal lodged by the ministry of justice against the ruling.
The former silentiary whose name was not revealed in the report commented on the attempted coup on July 19, 2016, four days after the incident, in the courthouse.
“You do not know the fact [behind the coup]. This is just a game of the [ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)] government. This coup is an Erdogan’s theatric scenario in order to be president. We should not be played,” the silentiary reportedly said at the time.
Reasons behind the July 15 coup attempt have remained an enigma.
According to some critics, Erdogan and National Intelligence Organization (MIT) monitored the coup plotters within the military ranks, striking a deal with the Chief of the General Staff Hulusi Akar and some ultra-Kemalist commanders to abort the attempt.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) also repeatedly claimed that the July 15 incident was a controlled coup, which Erdogan and his AKP had knowingly allowed it to occur to consolidate their power.
Following the coup the country witnessed two important elections, a referendum in 2017 under emergency rule and parliamentary and presidential elections in 2018 which provided Erdogan with great powers.