A Turkish Air Force major who met with Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MIT) officials around 14:20 on 15 July 2016 had warned that a coup attempt might be unfolding, according to the official minutes of a meeting he had with public prosecutors, reports Turkish daily Hurriyet.
“I remember precisely saying ‘There may be a coup,’” said the Air Forces major, identified only by the initials as O.K., according to meeting records dated 11 August 2016, that also included the names of the then-Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor Harun Kodalak, Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Necip Cem Iscimen and a clerk.
The report did not feature the name or signature of the major due to “the necessity of keeping his identity secret.”
It previously emerged that O.K. had gone to the MIT headquarters to give information regarding unusual activities in the military before the 15 July coup attempt, but officials maintained that the information given by O.K. was limited to an assassination or kidnapping attempt directed against Hakan Fidan, head of he MIT.
Head of MIT Hakan Fidan and Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Hulusi Akar held a meeting on 15 July 2016 in Akar’s office from around 16:00 to 20:30, but the pair were not called to testify in front of the parliamentary committee investigating the coup attempt despite protests from opposition party members within the committee.
The MIT instead sent a written report signed by Hakan Fidan to the committee. The report states that “Although there was intelligence related to preparations for a coup attempt the agency did not have clear information related to the date because they don’t have authority to collect intelligence within the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).”
Both President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim maintained that they learned about the unfolding coup attempt after 21:00 and authorities from both the Armed Forces Chief of Staff office and MIT stated that the information given by Air Force Major O.K. was limited to an assassination attempt to Head of MIT Hakan Fidan.
“I arrived at the MIT with a taxi at around 14:20 I told the official at the door, ‘I’m here to give information to the MİT regarding ‘parallels’ in the Turkish army,’” O.K. said, referring to Gulenists or what the government and prosecutors call the Fethullah Gulenist Terrorist Organization (FETO), led by the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.
“Two people came to see me at around 15:00. I told them about the issue and they were worried. They asked me what could happen and I told them that something big could happen and it may even be a coup activity. They asked ‘What does it mean to take Hakan Fidan?’ I told them that it would not be well-intentioned because they said ‘a lot of blood will be shed,” he added.