Plotters of the July 15, 2016 coup sabotaged health of Turkish Air force F-16 pilots by giving them unnecessary blood pressure control pills, according to a prosecutor’s indictment regarding Gülenist activities at the Gülhane Military Hospital.
Pilots who took the pills were disqualified from flying in subsequent medical tests, according the indictment proceedings.
The indictment included testimonies of pilots who said they were prescribed high blood pressure medication by military doctors- who were members of the plotters group, later designated as the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO), even though they did not suffer from health issues.
The Erdogan regime in Ankara has blamed the aborted coup attempt on followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, a charge denied by the preacher.
According to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, the suspect doctors carried out these measures to replace pilots who were not part of the Gülen movement, which is widely believed to have orchestrated the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, with those who wee aligned with the FETO, Hurriyet Daily News reported quoting Anadolu Agency yesterday.
One pilot, identified only as Gürhan T, said he was given a high blood pressure medicine but did not use it after realizing that it could dangerously enlarge his heart veins.
“Doctor Şevket Balta told me to use a medicine for two months and come back for check-ups. I bought the medicine but when I read the prospectus I saw that it was for high blood pressure so I never used it,” said Gürhan T, whose testimony was taken as a victim.
Another pilot, identified only as Ugur K, also gave Balta’s name and said his flights were prevented due to the doctor’s “high blood pressure” diagnosis.
“After I was given a two-month rest, my flights were canceled due to the same diagnosis,” he said, adding that he had to leave the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in February 2016 due to the “injustices he suffered from.”
Following the aborted coup, the Turkish Air Force had dismissed almost all pilots aligned to the FETO which has nearly halved the strength of its F-16 pilots. To tide over the severe shortage of F-16 pilots, Ankara had sought trainers from the US and Pakistan only to have the request denied by Washington.