By Abdullah Bozkurt
Luxury residential apartments owned by the embassies of the US, Canada, Norway and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Turkish capital of Ankara were the subjects of coup investigations, secret documents obtained by Nordic Monitor have revealed.
According to the documents Turkish authorities requested a full list of names of the owners or lessees of luxurious flats in Park Vadi Homes located in Dikmen Valley, one of Ankara’s most attractive locations. Citing prosecution investigation file No. 2016/103583 as justification for the request, the Ankara Police Department’s counterterrorism unit asked Park Vadi management to provide the full names and corresponding apartment numbers.
Complying with the police request on December 20, 2016, Yıldırım Aydoğdu, chairman of the board of Park Vadi, sent a list of owners and lessees of flats in the C-block that showed some of them belonged to foreign embassies. The confidential documents were later incorporated into a coup investigation file detailing events at Akıncı Airbase in Ankara.
The government and prosecutors claimed the base was a headquarters for putschists during a July 15, 2016 coup attempt; yet the evidence suggested the base was put on alert after jets were scrambled to counter a terrorist attack. The testimony of officers who were accused of involvement in the attempt showed Turkish Intelligence agency MIT’s involvement in what appears to have been a false flag coup operation staged to set up mass persecution of government critics and a purge of pro-NATO officers, and to push a Turkish military incursion into Syria that took place in the aftermath of July 15, 2016 events in order to secure imperial powers for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a 2017 referendum.
It is not clear why Turkish authorities requested the names of owners and lessees of Park Vadi Homes and what its connection was to the coup attempt. The prosecutor and police may have been motivated to build a case to strengthen a government narrative that often accused the US, Western allies and Gulf states like the UAE of complicity in the failed coup.
Turkish prosecutors across various provinces have also launched criminal investigations into US servicemen who were deployed as part of NATO and anti-Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) missions in Turkey. Even a US senator, US federal attorneys, American academics and journalists and Christian clergymen as well as nationals of other countries were indicted in Turkey on dubious charges of coup plotting and terrorism.
The Park Vadi list includes 17 flats that were occupied by US Embassy personnel, two owned by the Norwegian Embassy and one flat each owned by the Canadian and UAE embassies. There are also two flats that list American citizens as residents in the block. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu, former Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli, former Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker and former Sports Minister Suat Kılıç appear to own flats in the residential complex as well.
Eleven-page document listing all the names and flat numbers for residents of Park Vadi Homes. The surnames and flat numbers have been redacted by Nordic Monitor.
The list became public record when the prosecutor decided to include it in a coup investigation file and submitted it to the court as supporting evidence against the putschists.
Park Vadi flats, priced at between $3,000 and $5,000 per square meter when they were first put on the market in 2010, are high-end homes with advanced security systems. The flats in C-block are currently being sold from 1 million to 3 million Turkish lira. A villa in the same block goes for as high as 6 million Turkish lira.
Developed by the Kuzu-Ulubol joint venture, the entire development has 50 flats measuring 280 square meters each, 16 duplexes with terraces and 100 triplexes measuring between 700 and 1,000 square meters. The property was originally owned by the Ankara Municipality before development, and there were widespread rumors that then-Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek and Nuri Elibol, a retired military officer who represented the interests of the pro-Erdogan Ihlas group in Ankara, benefited handsomely in a corruption scheme that involved illegal zoning changes and alterations to city planning for the purpose of enriching some politicians and businesspeople.