Where will those expelled appeal?
One of the topics discussed at the cabinet meeting presided over by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was those who have been expelled from public work within the context of the fight against the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ). Interestingly, this topic was brought up by the president, who, as a matter of fact, was the very person whose hotel was raided by putschists trying to kill him.
Imagine you are the president of your country but that night you board a plane with your wife, your children and your grandchildren and fly toward a mystery. It is a tough sentiment.
Back to the night of the attempted coup, the night of July 15; I would like to share an anecdote. The venue is the Black Sea town of Trabzon’s Dernekpazarı district. When local people saw that tanks were on the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, they gathered in the town square. Television channels reported that Erdoğan’s jet was in the air.
One of the persons sitting in a chair watching the news was the father of Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, journalist/writer Sadık Albayrak. Right next to him was former minister Eyüp Aşık. The latter tuned to Albayrak at one point and said, “Your in-laws, your son, your daughter-in-law and your grandchildren are on that plane. How come you are so calm?” Albayrak answered, “It is destiny, whatever happens.”
The folks in Dernekpazarı stayed up all night in the town square. The municipality bought fresh bread from the bakery in the morning and distributed it with halva and grapes. Later when they went to the bakery to pay for the bread, the owner responded, “How can I charge you for this bread?” He did not accept any payment that day.
At the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting on Sept. 9 presided over by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, the topic was mayors of certain towns who were likely to be expelled.
AK Party deputy chair Yasin Aktay said during the meeting, “There has been an ongoing scanning [for FETÖ members] in our organization since Dec. 17, . Those who were successful in hiding themselves are being sorted out as soon as they are spotted. We are very sensitive about suspicion and rumors. Among the 9 million members of the AK Party, those using the ByLock program number 10 to 20 people.”
We saw on July 15 that the need to fight FETÖ was not an exaggeration or a fantasy. This fight has become the perpetual issue of Turkey. Since the fight against Ergenekon weakened, the fight against FETÖ should not be allowed to weaken.
While talking to AK Party deputies and cabinet ministers, I realized that those who have been suspended or expelled have suffocated them. Of course, nobody would admit, “I am a member of FETÖ.” But not all of the suspended or expelled are members of FETÖ. Among them, there are victims. Some people are trying to use this fight as a tool.
Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said, “We see that our error margin is very low. Those who claim that they are not a member of FETÖ are lower than 1 percent.”
Despite this, an objection mechanism is trying to be formed for those who object to their dismissal and claim they have been victimized. Canikli said those who are determined that they had been expelled unjustly will be returned to their positions with the same method.
Victims would be able to appeal to governor’s offices. There will be a special unit set up at the office of the Prime Ministry. Objections will be evaluated there.