Turkey identifies 'second mastermind' of failed coup

Kemal Batmaz, a former CEO of the FETO-linked Kaynak Paper Company is assumed to be one of the 'civilian masterminds' behind the failed coup attempt.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

A screengrab from Ankara’s Akinci 4th Main Jet Base's CCTV footage shows Kemal Batmaz who's accused of being the 'second mastermind' of 15 July failed coup.

The public prosecutor's office in Ankara has identified businessman Kemal Batmaz as the 'second mastermind' of the July 15 defeated coup, according to a report released by the office Wednesday.

Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office said Batmaz had been spotted at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport as he accompanied another major coup perpetrator, Adil Oksuz, during their trip to the United States (US) to visit Fethullah Gulen, leader of the the Fethullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) in July, just days before the failed coup.

After returning from the US, Batmaz was spotted along with Oksuz at Ankara’s Akinci 4th Main Jet Base during the night of the failed coup.

Some pro-coup soldiers used Akinci as a base and the jets that took off from the base bombed several targets in the capital city of Ankara, including the parliament building.

Top military officers in the Turkish army were also held hostage at the base.

Businessman Batmaz had been detained soon after the coup bid and remains in custody.

Also, the prosecutor's office said six suspects accused of accompanying Oksuz on his visit to the US in March and June had been apprehended Wednesday.

The suspects also allegedly rented out houses in Ankara in preparation for the coup. Police are looking for six more suspects linked to Oksuz and the coup bid.

Returning from the US, Batmaz was seen at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport as he accompanied another major coup perpetrator, Adil Oksuz.

Oksuz, who was an assistant professor in the faculty of theology at the Sakarya University in Turkey, remains at large, according to Turkish authorities.

He was held on the night of the defeated coup on July 15 at the Akinci Jet Base, but was released after a brief interrogation by Judges Koksal Celik and Cetin Sonmez.

However, later when it became known that Oksuz was one of the top 15 putsch attempt plotters and a warrant for his arrest was reissued.

He was said to be the "leader of the Air Force", according to Turkish authorities.

Oksuz, however, disappeared soon after his release and has still not been found despite efforts to arrest him.

The Interior Ministry has offered a reward of up to 4 million Turkish Liras ($1.3 million) for information leading to the arrest of Oksuz – one of 37 fugitives.

The Turkish government accuses Gulen to be the mastermind behind the defeated coup.

246 people were killed and over 2,000 others were injured during the failed putsch.

TRTWorld and agencies