Who is commanding the fight against FETÖ?
The National Intelligence Organization (MİT) is in command of the fight against the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization” (FETÖ). But it must be stressed that the MİT is not a judicial institution; its duty is to gather intelligence.
Obtaining intelligence is different from obtaining evidence that can be used in court. It is not the MİT’s duty to produce such evidence. The fight against FETÖ must be conducted through the offices of prosecutors and the judiciary police, which are at their service.
Our judicial order and our criminal procedures do not allow a prosecutor to have nationwide jurisdiction. In other words, FETÖ investigations have to be conducted one by one in different provinces and districts. That is what is currently being done.
However, the coordination of the investigations can be carried out from one center. There is no obstacle to establishing a headquarters for the anti-FETÖ struggle in Ankara, to which all local units will report to.
Is there such a center at present? Well, yes and no.
If you ask, they will tell you that the counter-terrorism units and the organized crime units within the police force are functioning like a headquarters, but there is no special unit formed particularly to fight FETÖ.
Actually, if that HQ had been created after the Dec. 17-25, 2013 corruption investigations, the July 15 coup attempt most probably would not have occurred, because this center could have revealed all those preparations.
What’s more, the chief suspect Adil Öksüz would not have been released even if the coup attempt had taken place.
It is quite obvious that there is a serious problem of non-coordination, as no information has been shared. Even though several senior FETÖ confessors have given information on the significance of Adil Öksüz, no investigation has been opened against him. It is an unbelievable negligence that this person was not monitored.
Moreover, even though there were intelligence reports regarding him and tipoffs on his connection to FETÖ, this information was hidden from prosecutors and courts on the day of July 16. This shows why such a command and coordination unit is necessary.
We are talking about a complex organization that works with quite a number of executives coordinating cells. The ByLock database alone exceeds 50,000 people. They are an extremely complex group, their intertwined network functions in a broad field including security and judicial bureaucracy, as well as the business world and the banking system.
When you add the international dimension to this deep domestic organization, and when you consider that they were capable of conducting noncriminal activities simultaneous with criminal activities, then the need for the command-coordination increases substantially.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, referring to the period between Dec. 17-25, 2013 and July 15, 2016, claimed that he “conducted the fight alone.” Indeed, at this moment there is no official other than President Erdoğan who cares as much about the fight against FETÖ.
But the president cannot do everything, especially regarding daily coordination and command.
A comprehensive unit should be established to command and coordinate the fight against FETÖ without losing any more time, and a police chief or a governor who President Erdoğan fully trusts should be appointed to head this unit.