A former air force commander has denied being a ringleader of Friday’s attempted military coup in Turkey.
Gen Akin Ozturk and 26 senior officers were charged with treason and remanded in custody by a court on Monday, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.
But in a statement to prosecutors, the general insisted: “I am not the person who planned or led the coup.”
Anadolu had earlier quoted him as telling interrogators that he had “acted with intention to stage a coup”.
Officials have blamed the unrest, which killed at least 232 people and wounded 1,400, on the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen and the “parallel structure” they say he has formed to topple the government.
“I don’t know who planned or directed it. According to my experiences, I think that the [Gulen movement] attempted this coup,” Gen Ozturk was quoted as telling prosecutors by Anadolu before appearing in court in Ankara.
“But I cannot tell who within the armed forces organised and carried it out. I have no information. I have fought against this structure.”
This alleged coup attempt is smelling stranger and stranger. Since when is there a coup without a leader proclaiming his or her cause to attract support? And it was crushed so quickly… I’m beginning to suspect that the whole thing was staged by the government as an excuse to purge their opposition. Then again, maybe it’s just late and time for me to go to bed.