Secrets of the ‘flash disk’

Secrets of the ‘flash disk’

I had an appointment with Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on July 21. 

When we were talking about the July 2016 coup attempt, Kılıçdaroğlu said his party would “deliver a very important file to the prosecutor’s office next week.” As it was an informal courtesy visit, I did not dig any deeper. But when Kılıçdaroğlu said CHP deputy Tuncay Özkan would deliver the file to the prosecutor’s office during a speech on July 25, it suddenly came to me. I realized that my failure to follow up with Kılıçdaroğlu was a disgrace in terms of my profession. 

After Özkan delivered the flash disk to the public prosecutor’s office, the question of “why now?” came to the agenda. Some questioned why he did not bring it to the agenda during the Ergenekon trials. 

He delivered a flash disk that he said was conveyed to him in 2007. Land Forces Commander İlker Başbuğ notified the General Staff at the time, thinking that it was related to the Air Forces. The flash disk then reached the Air Forces. There, a working group called the “Sun Working Group” (Güneş Çalışma Grubu) was formed under the leadership of military intelligence head Akın Öztürk. After two years of intense efforts, the group managed to destroy information in the flash disk. It then closed the file on Feb. 9, 2009. 
The Fethullah Terror Organization (FETÖ) file in the military was closed but the Özkan file was open. Özkan was arrested as part of the Ergenekon operation a year after delivering the flash disk on Sept. 23, 2008. 

Now, the flash disk has once again gained popularity almost 10 years on. FETÖ member Colonel Selçuk Başbilen, who has become a confessor, mentions the destroyed flash disk in his testimony. Başbilen, who was on duty in the Air Forces Counter-Intelligence Branch (İKK Şubesi), is among the witnesses of the incident. 

The flash disk delivered by Özkan to the Armed Forces for examination reached FETÖ’s Air Forces “imam” Öksüz before it reached Air Forces Commander Faruk Cömert. Öksüz confirmed the information in the flash disk and shed tears, saying “All our efforts are wasted.” The prosecutor carrying out the coup investigation, meanwhile, has asked Özkan about the fate of this flash disk. 

I have spoken to Özkan about this flash disk issue. I asked him why he didn’t bring it to the agenda during Ergenekon trials. 

“Would you deliver meat to a cat? FETÖ members were looking for this flash disk already. They searched the houses of my driver and secretary twice. They searched my and my sister-in-law’s house three times. They tried to obtain this information by tearing out the pages of my book. Prosecutor Zekeriya Öz and police chief Ali Fuat Yılmazer were personally leading the searches,” he said. 

Özkan also said the information in the flash disk was “encrypted.” 

“We tried to decipher all of it but couldn’t manage to do it. Five encrypted files couldn’t be deciphered,” he said. 

What’s in the flash disk? 

Özkan said the flash disk showed that officers inside the Armed Forces were separated by FETÖ into four groups: “Alevi,” “Kurd,” “Leftist” and “Pornographer.”

He also said the flash disk showed the following:

1. Files were prepared against Alevi officers. 

2. The families of 86 generals who were potential future Chiefs of Staff, including Hilmi Özkök, were examined one by one. 

3. A catalogue of women was prepared and sent to officers planning to get married. 

4. The most critical point is that files were prepared against FETÖ member officers inside the Armed Forces.

After he became a lawmaker 

So why didn’t Özkan bring this flash disk to the agenda after he became a lawmaker? 

“I did,” he said. In parliament’s Security and Intelligence Commission, which he is a member of, he brought the issue of what information is in the hands of intelligence units regarding FETÖ members to the agenda. He says he received the following reply, “FETÖ members are under control, they are in a passive situation” via the Prime Ministry. 

“The July 15 coup attempt took place six months after this reply,” he also says. 

Özkan also touched upon this subject in an interview he gave to daily Sözcü on Sept. 14, 2016. However, I have not been able to find any open statement from him saying that he has delivered such a flash disk to the Armed Forces after he was released from jail and became an MP. 

“I resisted against FETÖ. I served six years in jail at the hands of FETÖ, of which 576 days were in a cell. Doesn’t the robber have any guilt?” he said in response to criticisms directed against him.