Turkey’s former interior minister claims FETÖ, PKK are meeting in northern Iraq

Turkey’s former interior minister claims FETÖ, PKK are meeting in northern Iraq

Turkey’s former interior minister claims FETÖ, PKK are meeting in northern Iraq

DHA photo

The Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have been meeting in northern Iraq, former Interior Minister Efkan Ala has claimed, saying they are working together to “drag Turkey into chaos.” 

“Meetings between FETÖ and the PKK are taking place in northern Iraq, trying to drag Turkey into chaos through the PKK,” Ala told a parliamentary commission investigating the failed July 15 military coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. 

The commission, formed and approved by parliament to investigate the coup bid, decided who to listen to and question on Oct. 13, while also outlining a timetable for the commission’s meetings.

The commission is made up of deputies from all four of Turkey’s political parties with seats in parliament, and held its first meeting on Oct. 7.

Nine lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), four lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), one lawmaker from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and one lawmaker from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) are included in the commission.

Telling the commission that he received no intelligence about the coup attempt before it took place, Ala said he learned about what was happening after his plane, which had taken off from the eastern province of Erzurum, landed in the capital Ankara.

“We did not receive any intelligence information about what would happen. However, we did receive some evaluations before the date of the coup attempt from intelligence units that the [Gülenists] could potentially do something. If there is the possibility of staging a coup in the system then there is also the opportunity to do it. It is our duty to change the system that gives opportunities to coup attempts,” Ala, who was serving as the interior minister at the time of the coup attempt, told the commission on Oct. 18. 

He also responded to questions regarding Adil Öksüz, who the Turkish government has declared as the Gülen movement’s “imam of the Air Force” and a leader of the plot in Turkey. CHP lawmaker Aytun Çıray asked Ala if he knew Öksüz, who was briefly detained before being released the morning after the coup attempt.

“I condemn this question. We were the ones who detained him. You should ask that question to the Justice Ministry. A probe has been launched into the judges who released him. I don’t know him,” Ala said.