Turkish army to be fully cleared of FETÖ: Defense minister
Efforts to remove undercover members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will continue until they have all been removed from the army, the defense minister has said, reiterating that the capacity and activities of the TSK have increased in the post-July 2016 failed coup.
“We cannot say the army is fully cleared of [FETÖ]. That is why we will continue our fight. Suspicion makes half of wisdom. Can anything be done [by FETÖ]? Yes. Our struggle continues with this understanding and concern,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told daily Milliyet on July 26.
Akar was former Chief of General Staff but was appointed as the defense minister by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on July 9 under the new presidential system. He was the top soldier when a group of FETÖ members within the TSK had staged the coup on July 15, 2016. He was abducted by coup plotters for more than 12 hours and was released after the coup was thwarted.
“God willing, we will see this struggle out. No ifs, ands, or buts about it! We do not have any concerns or suspicions about it,” he said.
“The entire TSK is still against FETÖ as much as it was the day before,” said Akar.
Thousands of military officers have either been arrested or dismissed due to their links with FETÖ after the coup attempt.
“I feel that our army is getting stronger as these FETÖ traitors are expelled. The activities of our navy and air force have increased in very concrete numbers and our land forces in lesser numbers, compared to before July 15, ,” he said.
“We are doing three to five times more activities in the air and at sea. One pilot is doing the job of five pilots without any complaints but with big love. We are working day and night,” Akar said.