Qualifications should be more important than loyalty
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently justified the reason for tying of the the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) to the presidency as follows: “If the head of the intelligence agency isn’t directly under the head of the state then the state loses its ability to act. We can only take the right steps if intelligence comes to me when and how I want it to come to me.”
Erdoğan is telling the truth.
For example, during the coup attempt on the night of July 15, 2016, the chief of general staff and the head of the MİT evaluated intelligence provided by a major identified by the initials O.K. and decided that this intelligence could be part of a “bigger and more important plan.”
What did the intelligence chief do then?
He called the president. Upon hearing that he was resting, he asked the head of Erdoğan’s security detail if he was able to ensure the president’s safety. After hearing the answer “we can,” he felt reassured and headed out to dinner with the head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) and a Syrian opposition leader.
The head of the president’s security detail did not ask about the kind of danger they had to protect him from. If he had done, he may have thought that the light weapons they had would not be enough. He may have warned the president immediately.
The president would have understood that the intelligence pointed to a military coup attempt and the attempt would therefore have been quashed long before the soldiers emerged from their military bases.
But the intelligence chief never spoke to the president. He did not call the interior minister or the police chief either. He might have been thinking that it made no difference whether or not they were informed.
In last year’s coup attempt, the head of Turkey’s intelligence agency openly failed. He was enjoying his soup during the early hours of the attempted putsch.
But at least he did everything that the president demanded.
The incidents on July 15, 2016 clearly show us that it is more important for the intelligence chief to be qualified than to whom he will report to.
In this respect, the coup attempt was a kind of litmus test.
What kind of ‘regret’ is this?
Some people who have installed ByLock, the cell phone application used for communication among Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) members, are being arrested. Some others are released.
The Supreme Court of Appeals has in fact made a ruling on this subject. “If it is determined beyond doubt with technical facts and figures that a person has become a member of this network with the order of the organization, and if the application has used for communication purposes in order to secure confidentiality, [having ByLock] will be considered solid evidence proving a person’s links to the organization,” it stated.
Upon one suspect’s personal application, the Constitutional Court has also stated that the use of ByLock is strong enough evidence for arrest.
But the reason why my friend, journalist Kadri Gürsel, is currently on trial under arrest is that a few ByLock users tried to call him or sent him SMS messages.
Gürsel did not call them back, text them, or speak with them. But he is under arrest anyway.
Meanwhile, the ex-chairman of Konyaspor, identified as a ByLock user, has walked free. It is not possible to understand the mentality behind such contradictions.
Some reports in the media have claimed that if a person who has downloaded ByLock confesses after their arrest then they are freed.
But if that was the case, such people would have gone to the police or prosecutors the day after the coup attempt and become confessors.
Instead, they wait until they get arrested. If they are not arrested, they stay silent. When they are arrested, they confess and they are saved.
What kind of mentality is this? What kind of consciousness of justice? What kind of arbitrary treatment is this?
You cannot struggle against this FETÖ gang in such a way. Can nobody else see this?