Turkey’s coup commission wraps up work with little outcome
AA photoParliament’s coup investigation commission, set up to probe Turkey’s failed July 15, 2016 military takeover bid, wrapped up its work on Jan. 4, amid opposition criticism that the commission was ineffective and left many details of the coup attempt in the dark.
The commission’s head, Reşat Petek of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said on Jan. 4, the date of the expiry of the commission’s term, that the commission had listened to the testimonies of 141 people, 51 of whom spoke at the commission in Ankara and 90 of whom testified during commission visits. Written responses were also given by 61 testifiers, Petek added.
He said the commission confirmed the impression that “the coup was averted directly by the people and it was proved that Turkey is a country sensitive to democracy for the sake of the life of the people.”
The report-writing process is ongoing and they expect it to be jointly signed by all four political parties in parliament, Petek added.
Commission members from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) had requested that Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar, who was kidnapped on the night by coup-plotting soldiers, and National Intelligence Organization (MİT) head Hakan Fidan be summoned to testify to the commission.
But although the two were at the heart of events, AKP commission members rejected the demand.
Regarding the testimonies of Akar and MİT officials, Petek said the commission’s questions were sent in written form to Akar and the MİT would also be submitting a detailed report.
CHP deputy Aykut Erdoğdu blasted the commission’s efforts, saying its work had been ended with a “de facto move.”
“The July 15 coup attempt has been led into the dark by the hand of the AKP. But this darkness will not last,” Erdoğdu said on his Twitter account.
CHP commission members Erdoğdu, Zeynel Emre, Aytun Çıray and Sezgin Tanrıkulu also said they had submitted requests to hear from soldiers Akın Öztürk, Mehmet Dişli, Hakan Evrim, Hüseyin Türk, İbrahim Yılmaz and Mehmet Partigöç, who are all currently jailed at Sincan Prison in the capital Ankara. These requests were also rejected.
The CHP’s commission members first argued that the commission had been diverted from its original aims around a month after it started its work.