CHP MP says ‘former referee’ gave him flash drive containing list of Gülenists in army 10 years ago
Damla Güler – ISTANBULMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Tuncay Özkan has said it was a “former football referee” who provided him with the flash drive containing a list of Gülenist military personnel in the army in 2007.
Özkan had sent a copy of the flash drive to the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office on July 25 as the original had already been destroyed by a group of soldiers, including former air force commander and key coup general Akın Öztürk, in 2009, party head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had previously stated.
Speaking to daily Hürriyet, Özkan said someone who introduced himself as a former football referee gave him the flash drive at the İzmir Airport on April 24, 2007 while he was a journalist.
“A person who said he was a former football referee and whose name I cannot remember now suddenly came to me and said he had a very important document regarding the Fethullahist organization within the armed forces. He said the information in it could not be solved as it was encrypted and said he wanted to give that to me,” Özkan said, adding that he gave his business card to the person and told him to call when he comes to Istanbul.
“He came to Istanbul nearly 10 days later and called me. We met in front of a hotel in Mecidiyeköy and he gave me a flash drive as we had discussed before. When we examined the digital material with colleagues at the IT department of Kanaltürk, which I had owned at the time, we saw that there were over 30 encrypted files in the drive,” Özkan said.
Özkan added they managed to open only 10 of the files and said they contained various information on the Gülenist structure within the army.
“As far as I can remember, there were some kind of classified documents formatted in Excel belonging to mostly non-commissioned officers in the air force who were members of the Fethullahist organization and their personal information, organizational information, comments and moral profiling,” he said.
Following the examination, Özkan said he himself handed the flash drive to İlker Başbuğ who was the land force commander at the time. He said Başbuğ ordered the intelligence general to perform the necessary work while adding that a separate flash drive with similar information had been sent to the army from İzmir earlier.
Özkan stated he had owned a copy of the flash drive but it went missing as it had not been found in records during searches at his residence in 2008.
“I do not know whether it was destroyed by Fethullahist security and legal members,” Özkan said.