Turkish gov’t planned to ‘martyr’ ex-PM in 2016 coup attempt: opposition MP

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Ahmet Şık, a lawmaker from the Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP) and a former journalist, has alleged that the Turkish government planned to have former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım killed during a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016 so that he could be touted as the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s “great loss.”

“I don’t believe that July 15 was staged, but I think some plans were made [by the government] to turn it into a ‘gift from God.’ One of those plans was to kill Binali Yıldırım. … I think he was one of the targets because he could’ve been promoted as a great loss [for the AKP],” Şık said Thursday on Medyascope.tv, an online news channel.

Şık was referring to Erdoğan’s description of the coup attempt as “a gift from God” in the wake of the incident.

The MP based his claim, which came on the fifth anniversary of the attempted coup, on Yıldırım’s “angry body language” while speaking about Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT), during a live TV program days after the failed coup.

The MP stated that Yıldırım was angry at Fidan at the time because he found out about the coup attempt-related plans targeting him.

Nihal Olçok, whose husband and AKP advertiser Erol Olçok and son Abdullah Olçok were killed during the 2016 failed coup, has hinted at a similar situation regarding her family members more than once in her public statements.

Olçok previously said her husband and son had been killed by a sniper who shot them in the back during the coup attempt, knowing who they were. Turkish authorities haven’t been able to shed light on the murder of the father and son in the past five years.

“You only look at the visible, but [you should] look at the invisible,” Olçok told journalist Fatih Altaylı during a live TV program, not going as far as to claim, as Şık did with Yıldırım, that her family was knowingly killed as part of a government plot, local media reports said.

Many in Turkey believe that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan knew of the coup attempt or was part of the group that plotted it as he wanted a pretext to launch a crackdown on the Gülen movement, inspired by Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen, as well as all his critics to consolidate his one-man rule.

The Turkish government labels the faith-based movement as a terrorist organization and accuses Gülen and his followers of masterminding the attempted coup.

Although both Gülen and the members of his group strongly deny any involvement in the abortive putsch or any terrorist activities, Erdoğan’s AKP has investigated 622,646 people and detained 301,932, while jailing 96,000 others due to alleged links to the Gülen movement since the failed coup, according to the latest official data, as part of a massive purge launched under the pretext of an anti-coup fight.

Erdoğan has been targeting the movement since the corruption investigations of December 17-25, 2013, which implicated then-Prime Minister Erdoğan, his family members, and his inner circle.

In addition to the thousands who were jailed, scores of other Gülen movement followers had to flee Turkey to avoid the government crackdown.

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