Turkey’s main opposition party slams commission’s coup report

CHP deputies Sezgin Tanrikulu (center-left) and Aykut Erdogdu (center-right) at a press conference on Monday.

Opposition party members of the parliamentary commission investigating the coup attempt of 15 July 2016 slammed the commission’s draft report in a press conference they held on Monday, news outlet Diken reports.

Speaking in the beginning of the press conference, Aykut Erdogdu, Istanbul deputy for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said that “the draft report announced by [Head of the Parliamentary Investigation Commission AKP Deputy Resat] Petek is a report that hides the political wing of a controlled coup attempt and a report that defamates people and institutions who are in fact innocent.”

“Even the smallest piece of information that could hint towards AKP’s political responsibility related to the coup attempt has been removed from the report,” continued Aydogdu, emphasising that there is a special effort to avoid implicating or holding responsible the ruling AKP.

“The coup attempt is presented as it was an unpreventable natural disaster and those politically and administratively responsible of the events are hidden. They are trying to conceal the fact that the state apparatus was consciouly handed over to the Gulen Community after 2002.”

Istanbul deputy Aydogdu also announced to the press some of the questions they will ask to object to the finalisation of the draft report: “How was Turkey handed over to the Gulen Community? Did the Armed Forces Chief of Staff and the Head of the National Intelligence Agency hide information about the coup attempt from the President and the Prime Minister? If they indeed hid information, why are they still in office? Did they also hide information from the navy and air force commanders who were taken hostage that night? Did authorities have foreknowledge of the coup attempt? If so, were citizens who lost their lives that night sacrificed in a coup attempt that was known and under control? Why were necessary precautions not taken despite the fact that information about the coup attempt was received by the National Intelligence Agency by mid-day on 15 July? Who are the politicians who form the political wing of the coup? Who was going to be the president if the coup was successful?”

Istanbul CHP deputy Sezgin Tanrikulu, also member of the commission, reminded that “the majority of the members of the commission [representing the governing Justice and Development Party – AKP] are deputies who had connections with the Gulen Community in the past, head of the commission Petek coming first.”

Burdur deputy for AKP and head of the Parliamentary Investigation Commission Resat Petek was a staunch defender of trials such as Ergenekon, Balyoz and many others that later proved to be orchestrated by members of the Gulen Community within the police and judiciary. Hundreds of officers in the armed forces and many more in the police force were purged thorugh those trials, opening the way for members of the Gulen community to take their places. Petek was also a defender of Fethullah Gulen, claiming for years that the “Service Movement” (as the Gulen Commuinty called itself) was nothing but a civil society organisation.

CHP deputies also said that close to 300 pages of the commission’s findings were left out of the draft report including testimonies by former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Ilker Basbug (2008-2010) and former Head of The National Intelligence Agency Emre Taner (2005-2010).