Main opposition leader questions why army chief, intel chief didn’t testify in coup commission

Main opposition leader questions why army chief, intel chief didn’t testify in coup commission

Main opposition leader questions why army chief, intel chief didn’t testify in coup commission

DHA photo

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has asked why Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and National Intelligence Agency (MİT) chief Hakan Fidan did not testify in a commission formed to investigate the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.

Kılıçdaroğlu said that both Akar and Fidan were called to testify, but “they were prevented by the government from giving their statements.”

“What are we going to do if a government prevents the coup commission from inviting people? Of course we will question their sincerity. They prevented two key names from being invited. Why are you doing this? If I don’t ask it, then the coup will be covered up. After the formation of the commission, we understood that the government wants to cover up this coup,” Kılıçdaroğlu told private broadcaster NTV on late April 5.

Kılıçdaroğlu added that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “confessed” to knowing about the thwarted coup, in the latest salvo in a war of words between the two over the subject.

Erdoğan’s comments came after the CHP leader called on ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials to reveal the political leg of the coup attempt, arguing that the government had a list of names of a number of politicians who are members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), but are reluctant to reveal it.

Kılıçdaroğlu on April 3 said the coup attempt occurred within the knowledge of the government and was therefore a “controlled coup,” which prompted harsh responses from Erdoğan and government officials.

“Look at this statement, ‘July 15 is a covert coup.’ Where did you find this authority to insult our martyrs? If it is a covert coup, and you have the slightest of honor, a trace of personality; reveal the files so that we will do the necessary. I’ve never deceived or have been deceived in my political life,” Erdoğan said at a meeting addressing village heads in Ankara on April 5.

Commenting on Erdoğan’s remarks, Kılıçdaroğlu said it was a “very beautiful statement.”

“This is a very beautiful statement. It’s a sentence that confesses that he knew all the events as they unfolded. If he never deceived anyone or has never been deceived, then he is saying that he has knowledge of all these events. There is no bigger confession,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on April 5, as he “congratulated” Erdoğan for “making this confession.”

“The president made that statement in a rally today. We should give a message to our journalist friends; did they hear this statement from someone else? On July 19, 2015, Erdoğan said at war academies that ‘the whole country was deceived and wrongly directed, particularly me.’ The person who said these things are the same. Then, after the coup attempt, on Aug. 3, 2016, he said, ‘We couldn’t see that this structure [FETÖ] had utterly different intentions’ and continues by saying ‘God forgive us,’” he also said. 

Kılıçdaroğlu noted that when Erdoğan was prime minister, he received a briefing on how dangerous FETÖ was at a National Security Council (MGK) meeting. 

“He received the briefing on Aug. 25, 2004. What does he mean by saying that he didn’t see it? They received MİT reports every week and month. Weren’t you the ones who walked in parallel to the same destination?” he said. 

Saying that he was the first person to mention the name of Adil Öksüz, a key figure in the foiled coup, Kılıçdaroğlu noted that Öksüz was released with his cellphones and GPS device after remaining in detention for a short while. 

“Which state institution imported Öksüz’s GPS device? Why wasn’t he handcuffed while everyone else was? In 2014, a change in the MİT law was made. It said that no MİT personnel could be detained or arrested without the orders of the prime minister. Why wasn’t Adil Öksüz arrested or detained?” he said. 

When asked if he was implying that Öksüz was a MİT agent, Kılıçdaroğlu said he did not know.

“I don’t know, but I have to ask these questions. They can’t say that they don’t know who Adil Öksüz is. He was named as an ‘imam’ of the Gülenists. If I hadn’t mentioned his name, they would have covered his name up, too. Who is this man? Where is he getting that power from? Is he dead?” he added.

During the interview, Kılıçdaroğlu also said that the party received an e-mail from the person who is thought to be the developer of ByLock, a smartphone application that came to prominence after it emerged that Gülenists used it to communicate. 

“We will give you an example on how sensitive the CHP is on the issue [coup attempt]. We received an e-mail from David Keynes, who is said to have developed ByLock, from the U.S. We sent it as a document to the undersecretariat of the prime ministry. We sent it on Oct. 19, 2016,” he said.