Exiled Turkish journalist Ahmet Nesin has questioned Turkey’s top spy master’s involvement in the 2016 attempted coup based on an intelligence report that shows he knew about plans for the putsch more than 10 days before it happened.
Nesin held forth in a column on the Arti Gercek news portal on Monday that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) chief Fidan must have known about the coup plans.
In a column entitled “Did Hakan Fidan learn about the coup on July 15 or July 4?” the journalist cited an MIT report dated 4th of July, 2016, that reportedly serves as a warning for the approaching putsch bid.
Nesin stated in the column that the report cautioned to take precautions to prevent possible incidents of clashes and conflicts in several parts of Istanbul.
He wrote that the report also cautioned attacks on ships, bases, official institutions and lodgings and abductions of Turkish commanders.
“If you, as the MIT, released a report like this, and did not inform the offices of the prime minister or the president about an approaching putsch bid, it means you were also involved in the coup [plan] and you stayed silent about it,” he argued.
Adding a photo of the intelligence report under his column, Nesin further underlined that the only expression it lacked was one that would state that MIT exactly warned against was a “coup” plan.
Nesin also shared another report that involves tweets of prominent advertiser Erol Olcok, who is known for campaigns he launched for the AK Party (AKP), from five days before 2016’s attempted coup.
Both Olcok and his 16-year-old son were killed on the night of the failed coup after they went to the Bosphorus Bridge to protest against the putsch bid.
“A total of 13 tweets from Olcok, which were removed from his social media account in the aftermath of his death, describe what happened that night,” five days before it took place, Nesin elaborated in Monday’s column.
“It’s time for cleaning this summer. The TSK [the Turkish Armed Forces] will be cleaned off all the [secret] agents. … The coups [in Turkey] have all resulted from secularism, this will end. The army will act solely on national reflexes,” Olcok outlines in the tweets.
Following the putsch bid, the Turkish government has purged hundreds of senior military staff serving at NATO in Europe and the US, including some of the armed forces’ best-trained officials.
According to the official narrative of the incident, Fidan only learned about the coup attempt earlier on the same day it went down after a major came to the MIT’s office around 2.20 pm and told him about it.
Instead of informing then-Prime Minister Binali Yildirim about the newly-gained intel, he only told Hulusi Akar, Turkey’s then Chief of the General Staff.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Al Jazeera in an interview late on July 20, 2016, that he learned about the failed coup attempt that night not from the intelligence services, but from his brother-in-law.
“Fidan did not tell Erdogan about the intel that day most probably because Hulusi Akar still had not decided which side he will be on [regarding the military coup],” Nesin also interpreted in the column.
Although motives behind the failed coup attempt have remained an enigma, some critics alleged that Erdogan and MIT monitored the coup plotters within the military ranks, striking a deal with Akar and some ultra-nationalist commanders to abort the attempt.
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, however, repeatedly claimed that it was a controlled coup that the president and his AKP government had knowingly allowed it to occur to consolidate their power.
A referendum in 2017, parliamentary and presidential elections in 2018, which took place after 2016’s failed putsch bid, provided Erdogan with immense powers.