Jul 19 2018

Turkish ministers knew about the 2016 coup attempt - former AKP deputy

The Turkish ministers were told there would be a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, 15 to 20 days beforehand, but did not take the warnings seriously, Mehmet Metiner, a former member of parliament for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), told the pro-government Star newspaper.

Metiner said there would be new attempts to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, if the government failed to learn lessons from 2016. 

“When someone told ministers and our officials within security-intelligence bureaucracy 15 to 20 days before the coup attempt that there would be a coup, those allegations were not taken seriously. Even on the night of the July 15, in the beginning many of us did not think it was a coup attempt,” Metiner said. 

Metiner said it was time to reflect on those mistakes, given the failures of both intelligence agencies and top ranking generals to identify the government’s real friends and enemies.

The Turkish government blames the secretive Gülen movement for the coup. The movement was once allied to the AKP, but the two wings of Turkish Islamism fell out when Gülenist prosecutors charged ministers and their relatives with corruption in 2013.

Metiner accused some AKP parliamentarians of backing the corruption investigations and complaining when the government dismissed the prosecutors and judges in the case. 

“If we forget those who adopt this discourse of victimhood, we might always find ourselves facing new threats,” Metiner said.