Ankara agenda dominated with FETÖ’s political establishment dispute
Turkey’s domestic agenda has recently been occupied with a debate on investigating the political establishment of FETÖ, the group behind the defeated coup attempt of 2016 that has also been accused of infiltrating state institutions.
The dispute surfaced two weeks ago when main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) submitted a research proposal to parliament, calling for the “revelation of the political leg of FETÖ.”
The CHP on Jan. 12 submitted a research proposal to the speaker’s office of parliament, under the signatures of the party’s group deputy chairs Engin Altay, Özgür Özel and Engin Özkoç.
The CHP’s proposal text recalled that the coup attempt is not the only case harming Turkey, but the court cases such as Ergenekon, Sledgehammer and others caused the Turkish army to be restructured in the interest of FETÖ members.
The justification of the proposal said: “Turkey’s coup attempt of July 15, 2016 remains as one of the most serious incidents in the history of the Republic. It is a historical duty not to keep in the dark the organization structure of FETÖ, the perpetrator of this treacherous attack, in which hundreds of innocent civilians lost their lives and thousands were wounded, and to expose the political, commercial, military, judicial, security and all other legs.”
The first reaction to the CHP’s proposal came from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as Deputy Chair Mehmet Muş said on Jan. 13 the main opposition party had shown “no real effort” after the coup attempt.
He also said that calling for such a research commission after four years has a political subtext.
“We did not hear a single word from the CHP when we were putting up an uphill battle with FETÖ,” Muş had said.
The deputy chair also called on the CHP to notice the relevant authorities if they have any new information regarding the matter. He said that if they gathered new information and did not refer it to the prosecution, “that’s a different issue.”
In line with AKP’s rejection of the proposal, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) also showed reaction to the CHP as party leader Devlet Bahçeli ruled out any possibility of cooperation.
Bahçeli had said that the MHP “does not trust” the CHP and has “no intention on cooperation with the CHP in any of its proposals.”
Previously Altay called on Bahçeli to support the parliamentary inquiry commission.
Opposition İYİ (Good) Party had also submitted a proposal on May 2019, calling for an inquiry into the political establishment of FETÖ. While the MHP abstained from the vote, the AKP rejected the proposal.
‘Investigate Peace at Home Council’
The issue gained another extent when Bahçeli said that FETÖ’s political leg can be enlightened by investigating “Peace at Home Council.”
“If you investigate the Peace at Home Council, if you are curious about the civil elements of it, apart from the military wing, then you will find its political leg,” Bahçeli said.
The 38-member “Peace at Home Council,” a sub-committee the coup plotters formed to topple the government, consists of high-ranking soldiers, especially colonels and brigadier generals, who were arrested red-handed after the defeated coup attempt.
More recently, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also slammed the CHP over its inquiry.
Speaking to reporters on his way back from the Berlin summit on Libya, Erdoğan said that the CHP must prove if the AKP or MHP has members with FETÖ ties.
“Mr. Bahçeli’s approach is the one dimension of the situation. If [the CHP] is making the claim, it is obligated to prove this. Prove if parliament or any political party- the AKP or MHP - have this kind of [members],” he said.
“If you cannot prove this, then it means that you have [FETÖ-linked members],” he added.
Erdoğan also accused the CHP of submitting the proposal to “bring parliament under suspicion.”
He also recalled the arrest and trial procedure of CHP’s mayor, for Aegean İzmir’s Urla district, on charges of being a member of FETÖ.
İbrahim Burak Oğuz was arrested on Dec. 17, 2019. Oğuz has also been suspended from duty by the Interior Ministry. He is the first head of a CHP-run municipality to be arrested since the March 31 elections.