Turkey: Ex-general denies directing failed coup

  • 19/07/2016
Former air force commander Gen. Akin Ozturk (centre) is seen under custody at Ankara Police Headquarters (Getty)
Former air force commander Gen. Akin Ozturk (centre) is seen under custody at Ankara Police Headquarters (Getty)

Former Turkish air force chief Akin Ozturk has not confessed to playing a role in the failed military coup in which more than 200 people were killed, two private broadcasters say, contradicting a state media report.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency said earlier on Monday that Ozturk had confessed to helping to plot the coup.

However, Haberturk and NTV cited what they said was his testimony to prosecutors, reporting that he denied playing a role.

"I am not someone who has planned or directed the coup attempt that was carried out on July 15 and I don't know who did," NTV cited him as saying in his testimony.

An unknown assailant has shot the deputy mayor of Istanbul's Sisli district in the head and he is in a critical condition, Turkish broadcaster NTV reported.

It was not immediately clear whether the incident was linked to the failed coup. Turkey remains in a state of high tension, though the government says it has the situation fully under control.

NTV reported that the assailant had entered the office of deputy mayor Cemil Candas and then gun shots were heard.

Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) runs the prosperous Sisli district. Along with other opposition parties the CHP has condemned the attempted coup.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has suspended the annual leave of more than 3 million civil servants nationwide until further notice, according to a government order.

The order, published in Turkey's Official Gazette on Monday, comes amid a wide-ranging government purge of the civil service, judiciary, police and armed forces following the coup attempt.

Civil servants already on leave will return to their posts as soon as possible, the order said.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin is concerned by instability along Russia's borders following the failed coup, a hostage-taking drama in Armenia and an attack by suspected Islamist gunmen on security forces in Kazakhstan.

"Certainly, this turbulence along our borders is a cause of concern," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters.

"Taking into account the information which we get, appropriate [security] measures are being taken."

"We would like to see our neighbours as prosperous, stable and predictable nations."

Reuters / Newshub.