Parliament’s coup inquiry panel begins tough job

Parliament’s coup inquiry panel begins tough job

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Parliament’s coup inquiry panel begins tough job

The Coup and Memorandum Investigation Commission holds a meeting. AA photo

Opposition deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder suggested examining the military’s top secret archives in Ankara, dubbed the “cosmic room,” as Parliament’s Coup and Memorandum Investigation Commission held its first meeting yesterday.

“There are few people who have not been implicated in coup collaboration, including elected deputies. We should look at the records in the cosmic room at the Special Forces Command and see who the counter-insurgency is, how it was established, who massacred the Romans, Armenians, Kurds and Turks,” said Önder, a member of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), at the meeting.

Prosecutors searched the “cosmic room” for the first time in 2010 as part of the alleged plot to assassinate Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç.

Accessing all documents

Süleyman Çelebi of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) reminded his fellow Commission members that a parliamentary commission created to investigate the “Susurluk scandal” of 1996, when links between the police, the mafia and politicians were uncovered, had not been able to access certain files. He urged the commission to ensure that people who come to the commission are able to speak out without any worries, and called for legal precautions to that effect.

In a surprise remark, Şirin Ünal, a retired general who is the only former soldier within the ranks of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), argued that politicians also hold responsibility for past coups. “Did the politicians govern the country very well and the soldiers carried out coups just out of the blue? In my opinion, no,” he said.

The commission discussed its roadmap and will convene again on May 10 to finalize the methodology it will pursue in its inquiry.

The commission’s CHP members held a private meeting afterwards at which they discussed misgivings that the AKP could use the inquiry to further portray the CHP as a supporter of military coups.