Turkey’s potential reintroduction of capital punishment could complicate its bid for EU membership.
Former Turkish air force chief Akin Ozturk has not confessed to playing a role in a failed military coup that attempted to topple the government at the weekend, two private broadcasters said on Monday, 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 broadcaster NTV cited what they said was his testimony to prosecutors, reporting that he denied playing a role.
Anadolu later retracted the story.
“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 reported Ozturk as saying in his testimony.
“I do not know who planned or directed this coup. I was planning to attend the wedding of a friend’s daughter in Istanbul, but I couldn’t go. In the morning, I was in Izmir. I had some business with the notary. I can prove this. I couldn’t go to the wedding because of this notary business.”
At least 290 people were killed after a faction of the military launched the coup attempt on Friday night, sealing off a bridge across the Bosphorus, trying to capture Istanbul’s main airport and sending tanks to parliament in Ankara.
Anadolu earlier reported that Ozturk was one of 70 generals and admirals who had been detained – 11 had so far been placed under arrest, it added.