Turkey’s false flag planners adopted Pakistan’s playbook from Mumbai terror attacks

Turkish F-16 warplane.

Abdullah Bozkurt


Planners of a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey followed the tactics of Pakistan in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in order to internationalize the incident, a Turkish colonel who served in Pakistan as a military attaché at the time of incident testified in a Turkish court.

Col. Nuri Gayır, who was assigned to the General Staff and was in charge of training, told the judge in a hearing held on November 21, 2017 that Pakistan had cleverly scrambled low-flying jets over the capital of Islamabad, where the embassies are located, in order to send a powerful message to foreign capitals to get out of a difficult position with respect to neighboring India. “Pakistan made a subtle manoeuvre on the evening of the day when this incident [the Mumbai attacks] happened. Let me tell you what we experienced on that night. Over Islamabad, the capital city, where we were living, jets flew at low altitude just like what happened in Turkey [on July 15, 2016]”, Gayır said.


Col. Nuri Gayır


Concerning the incidents of July 15 in Turkey, the colonel said he thought an international incident might have occurred on the Turkish-Syrian border and that the Turkish government wanted to send a message to foreign capitals by ordering jets to fly low over districts where the embassies were located similar to what the Pakistanis did in Islamabad. “I never imagined a coup could have happened through aircraft flying at low altitude,” he said, recalling what he personally experienced in Islamabad, where he was posted as Land Forces military attaché during the 2008-2010 period.

“When these [Pakistani] jets started to fly [over Islamabad], the situation suddenly became chaotic. The [Turkish] ambassador Engin Soysal urgently called me at around 11:00 or 12:00 at night. ‘Colonel, what are you doing, what is happening?’ I said I didn’t know, either. ‘Just come to the office immediately and let’s report [to Ankara]. We quickly went there in the middle of the night. … The ambassador cabled [an urgent] message to Harekat Yıldırım at the foreign ministry, saying that war [between India and Pakistan] was imminent. I sent an urgent message [to the General Staff],” Gayır explained.


Col. Nuri Gayır’s court testimony:



According to him, this was a clever tactic by Pakistan, which was in a difficult position after it was accused of sheltering Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, a terrorist group that was blamed for a series of coordinated attacks in Mumbai, India’s financial capital, in November 2008 that killed 166 people including foreign nationals. “The other embassies acted similarly. Pakistan mobilized the international community, the UN Security Council intervened, and the tension was lowered with this,” Gayır said.

When jets flew low over the capital city in Turkey in July 2016, the colonel thought the government was using the same tactic as Pakistan to draw the attention of the international community. In fact, not only jets but also a few armored personnel carriers and tanks were deployed on the streets close to the US, French, Austrian, German and other embassies in Ankara on July 15. “I thought something must have happened and that Turkey, by employing such tactics, wanted to draw the attention of the world,” he noted.

Gayır was detained and arrested in Turkey on July 16, charged with coup plotting and sent to jail pending trial. His defense during a hearing, which drew parallels to what he had experienced in Pakistan, was mocked by presiding judge Oğuz Dik, who asked him to focus on the events of the night in Turkey and stop talking about what happened in Pakistan.

It may very well be the case that the false flag coup attempt, orchestrated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his intelligence and military chiefs, was designed to attract the attention of the world and to give the impression that the government was actually battling the coup plotters. The reality was that less than 1 percent of the military was mobilized on July 15 in a rapid response to secure sensitive locations against an imminent terror threat or military night exercise. Turkish intelligence named former Air Forces Commander Gen. Akin Özturk as the putschist leader, despite the fact that the general was at his daughter’s home and was unaware of developments in the military. The lead prosecutor who investigated coup filed an official document at 1 a.m. recording events that never happened or happened after it was filed, further confirming the fake coup.


21-page defense lawyer’s statement on behalf of Nuri Gayır: 



Col. Gayır appears to have been caught in the middle of events when he was about to leave the General Staff for a two-week vacation on Friday July 15 but was ordered to stay for the weekend by his commanding officer, Staff Col. Fikret Canitez, who wanted to take the weekend off himself. On Friday Gayır sent his wife and children to Bursa province, where he planned to join them on Sunday after finishing his extra shift. When the special forces arrived General Staff headquarters to secure the premises from a terrorist threat and provide safety for the commanders in the evening hours, he did not understand what was going on. He was told the General Staff was facing a possible terror attack.


Col. Nuri Gayır seen in CCTV footage at General Staff headquarters.

Police detained him on July 16 in his office at the General Staff, where he was hunkering down to stay out of the chaotic events. Although he explained that he had stayed in his office for safety, the police did not bother listen to his explanation. He was beaten and kicked right there on the spot, and the abuse and torture continued in police custody. He was forced to undress, lay down for a long time under the sun on hot asphalt, which caused him to sustain second degree burns to his knees and face. The torture continued for six days at a sporting hall that was converted into an unofficial detention facility. The first medical report confirmed the torture and abuse he was subjected to, but others simply ignored his complaints and did not record his injuries for fear of the police.

He wrote five petitions in Sincan Prison, begging for treatment for open wounds on his knees, but prison authorities ignored his pleas. He was finally brought to a medical doctor on September 1, 2016, some 40 days after his imprisonment and was referred to a surgeon. However, the surgical procedure did not help him heal. In the end a plastic surgeon operated on his knees in October 2016, eventually resulting in success.


Knee injuries of Col. Nuri Gayır from being forced to lie down on hot asphalt.


Photo taken under police custody shows Col. Nuri Gayir was beaten and tortured, with burn marks on his face.


The colonel does not appear to be linked to the Gülen movement, a group that is critical of the Erdoğan government on a range of issues from pervasive corruption in the administration to Turkey’s aiding and abetting of armed jihadist groups. He testified in court that he did not reach out to the Gulenists while serving in Pakistan and did not invite the officials of the Pak-Turk schools — run by Gülenists at the time before they were unlawfully and forcibly handed over to Turkey under pressure from Ankara — to the Victory Day reception on August 30 at the Turkish Embassy, which he claimed resulted in the filing of a complaint against him by the Gülen people. He did not enroll his son in a school run by Gülenists in Islamabad, either.


Mug shot of Nuri Gayir, taken on July 21, 2016.


In June 2019 Gayır was convicted on coup charges and sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment. His appeal is still pending.

The Erdoğan government has purged nearly 70 percent of all admirals and generals as well as thousands of officers from the Turkish military under the pretext of involvement in the coup attempt, although most of the purged officers were not even involved in the abortive putsch in 2016.


Medical report dated July 17. 2016 recorded signs of torture and ill-treatment on the body of Nuri Gayır:



Gayır’s unlawful arrest, torture and subsequent conviction with no solid evidence means the purge list was in fact prepared by the Erdoğan government’s intelligence agency long before as part of a planned purge of officers from the Turkish military. The Erdoğan government needed a pretext to jail thousands of officers, and the false flag coup bid was a perfect excuse to proceed with a plan of transforming NATO’s second largest army into the Turkish version of Iran’s Islamist Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) staffed with Islamists and neo-nationalists. The government also removed the senior military leadership, which was opposed to Turkey’s military intervention in Syria.

The night of the coup was marked by many incidents that did not make any sense, such as the bombing of parliament, the raid on a private television station, the cutting off of traffic on an Istanbul bridge during the evening rush hour and low-flying jets.



Mug shots of Nuri Gayır taken by the police on July 21, 2016.


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