By Aylin Sirikli and Baris Kilic
ANKARA (AA) - Almost all F-16 pilots at the Akinci 4th Main Jet Base in Ankara were members of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) on the night of defeated coup, according to an indictment filed against former senior air force officers.
The indictment was prepared by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and filed at the court in the capital Wednesday. It accused the pilots of being involved in the July 15, 2016, foiled coup, a judicial source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said Thursday.
FETO used to give great importance to its members at the Akinci 4th Main Jet Base. Except for a few, all F-16 jet pilots at the base would get chosen after FETO’s approval, the indictment said.
"When the number of F-16 jet trainees at the Akinci 4th Main Jet Base and the number of trainees affiliated with the [FETO] organization between 2013 and 2016 are compared, it’s understood that almost all F-16 pilots were members of the organization,” the indictment read.
FETO, led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, has been accused of orchestrating the foiled coup attempt of July 2016. The defeated coup left 249 people martyred, and around 2,200 others wounded.
Turkey's government accuses the FETO terror network of staging the coup attempt as well as being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Since the coup, operations have been ongoing in the military, police and judiciary, as well as in state institutions across the country, to arrest suspects with alleged links to FETO.