Intel gave us no information on Gülenists in army: Former chief of staff
AA PhotoMembers of the Gülen movement were able to infiltrate the Turkish Armed Forces largely due to a lack of intelligence information from the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), according to former Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ.
“Between 2002 and 2010, we did not receive a single report from MİT about members” of the Gülen Movement established within the Turkish Armed Forces, Başbuğ said Nov. 3 in a briefing for the parliamentary commission investigating the July 15 coup attempt, which has been blamed on the movement of Fethullah Gülen.
After he was appointed as chief of staff, Başbuğ said he could not act to eliminate Gülenists within the army because the armed forces were devoid of “concrete information” that should have been provided by MİT.
The undersecretary of MİT presented him with an unofficial report in 2009, but the names were all Gülenist police officers, Başbuğ said, adding that the police officers were not dismissed either.
In 1992, a civilian was assigned as MİT undersecretary, he said, stressing that clearing military personnel from MİT began afterwards.
The Turkish military had a long list of high-ranking soldiers linked to Gülen two weeks before the July 15 attempted coup, former gendarmerie commander Galip Mendi told a parliamentary panel formed to investigate the failed attempt.
Mendi told the panel that the top brass planned to fire the figures on the list at the annual Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) meeting scheduled to be held in August, but the coup attempt came before that date.
“We received the final lists on July 2. If we could have held the council meeting, the records of the names on the list would have been removed from the TSK [Turkish Armed Forces],” he told the council on Nov. 2.
Mendi was among the high-level soldiers who were held hostage on the night of the coup attempt by Gülenists.
“We were notified by MİT and the police in 2014, 2015 and 2016 that certain personnel were Gülenists. These names ended up being involved in the coup attempt. We made efforts on this at the level of the General Staff, and the 2016 YAŞ meeting was going to be held between Aug. 3 and 5. We had come to a mutual agreement to immediately dismiss those who we were highly suspicious of,” he also told the council.
Mendi added that two dossiers were brought to the General Staff by MİT and the police, with the last one coming on July 2.
“The Gülenists were due to be dismissed in this year’s YAŞ meeting. They probably heard about it beforehand,” he said.
Saying a number of generals “don’t understand that FETÖ is a project against Turkey,” Mendi claimed “there is either pecuniary advantage or blackmail involved.”
“There is money sent via a website from the U.S. It would be useful to investigate the biggest sums of money,” he said.