Adil Öksüz, Kemal Batmaz, Harun Biniş, Mehmet Dişli…
Akın Öztürk, Hakan Evrim, Nurettin Oruç, Hakan Çiçek…
You have already memorized most of these names as the leading actors of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. They are all the main defendants in the Akıncı case hearings ongoing in Sincan.
Before you skim over them as the "main defendants," I would like to talk about someone who is right at the heart of the coup plans, who proved his ruthlessness with the orders he gave that night. The pilots who testified mentioned him as the "FETÖ head," yet his name is merely skimmed over.
Until July 15 2016, he was the colonel on duty as the operations commander at the Akıncı 4th Main Jet Air Base.
According to the Akıncı indictment, Özçetin is the one who gave the order that night in Ankara to bomb the Presidential Palace Complex, Turkish Parliament, the Gölbaşı Police Special Operations building, Security General Directorate Head of the Department of Special Operations, Ankara Police Headquarters, and to shoot civilians who left their homes in Kazan – which later received the title "kahraman," meaning "hero" – and hastened to Akıncı Air Base.
We could say he is the most influential, audacious and ruthless of all the uniform-wearing coup plotters.
That night, Özçetin began his coup duty by ordering the scout plane named "Gören" from Kayseri to Akıncı.
After changing the plane's name to "Tosun," he uploaded the coordinates of the Special Forces and special operations in Gölbaşı on this aircraft.
Then he had these areas bombed.
You all know how that turned out.
'We are readjusting what is out of order’
We will get to what the pilots, who Özçetin commanded, thought on his behalf, but first I will share an anecdote.
The name Ahmet Özçetin is mentioned in an interesting dialogue in a testimony given to the prosecutor's office about the night of July 15 by Air Forces Commander Abidin Ünal.
After being brought into custody in Istanbul, Ünal was then transferred to Akıncı Air Base.
The person who greeted him at the base was Operations Commander Ahmet Özçetin.
Let's look at Gen. Ünal's statement to the prosecutor's office for the rest of the story:
"He greeted me saying, 'Welcome commander.' I replied saying, 'I'm not welcome.' He told me, 'We are trying to readjust what is out of order.' And I said, 'You are the one who is out of order.'"
This is a dialogue between a general, who is commander of the Air Forces, and a coupist colonel.
I wrote this because for a moment I recalled May 27.
As long as we’re on the subject of May 27, yesterday I had mentioned how on July 15 the highest-ranking coup suspect Akın Öztürk assumed the role Cemal Gürsel had on May 27, how Abidin Ünal, his successor in the Air Forces, spoke to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on this subject in this manner.
Let's move on to Akın Öztürk's close relationship with Ahmet Özçetin.
'Sir, did you see what Fuat Avni wrote this time?'
Pilot Hasan Hüsnü Balıkçı, the suspect whose testimony was included in the Akıncı indictment, states that Colonel Özçetin, whom he describes as “influential and audacious,” loves Öztürk very much.
The feeling must be mutual because while he was Air Forces commander, he appointed him as the A team’s Secretary General.
This intimacy runs so deep that Özçetin easily communicates his views regarding political developments to Öztürk during their travels together.
If I were to tell you that the two joked over what the Fetullah Terrorist Organization’s (FETÖ) troll Twitter account Fuat Avni posted during one of their travels together, it might give you an idea about their level of intimacy.
During a journey with other commanders that rank higher than himself, Özçetin turns to Öztürk and in a lively tone, asks: “Sir, did you see what Fuat Avni wrote this time?”
Öztürk responds with a laugh.
The chit chat on the flight ends with another general dismissing Özçetin.
Pilot Hasan Hüsnü Balıkçı, the suspect whose testimony I partially quoted, also gave other important details concerning Özçetin’s role that night. Pay attention to this section of the statements included in the indictment:
“That night, Ahmet Özçetin brought over a list of targets. When I looked at this list the National Intelligence Organization’s (MİT) under secretariat, its second location, and a few points at the Police Special Operations were marked. The pilots were studying these target points. Later, they started to determine those who would be on duty. Akıncı Air Base’s FETÖ head is Staff Colonel Ahmet Özçetin."
Hence, it is only natural that Özçetin is among the coup plotters with whom Akın communicated 34 times right before July 15.
Soon, it will be Özçetin’s turn to be interrogated at the Sincan hearings. A serial killer who murdered 10 men once asked his lawyer, “I wonder how you will defend me?” His lawyer replied, “To be honest, I wonder the same thing.” Similarly, I wonder how Özçetin’s lawyers, highly skilled in the art of maneuvering, will defend him.