Turkish coup commission head promises report soon

Turkish coup commission head promises report soon

Turkish coup commission head promises report soon

AFP photo

The head of a parliamentary commission investigating the July 15, 2016, failed coup and the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) has said a final report will soon be published, while adding that it would be wrong to expect it to be similar to an indictment. 

“It would be wrong to expect the report to include the names of the suspects and the charges against them like an indictment because it’s a judicial process,” commission head and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Burdur lawmaker Reşat Petek told state-run Anadolu Agency on May 17, adding that the report would include how FETÖ, widely believed to have been behind the thwarted coup, infiltrated the state.

“The report will, of course, include the issues on FETÖ’s political leg, its relations with the political parties, how they collaborated and infiltrated [the state]. We will make evaluations in a general framework. The judiciary is conducting its duties already,” he said. 

The commission established to shed light on the coup attempt and the effects of secret organizations on politics started working on Oct. 4, 2016. The commission held a total of 22 meetings in three months and listened to 51 people. 

The commission’s work was concluded four months ago and the writing process has been ongoing ever since.

Petek rejected criticism that the report has been late in coming, noting that examining the information obtained from both physical and digital environments and putting them into the report takes time. 

“We haven’t adopted an understanding of leaving the work to commission experts and letting a report be issued. I’m looking into it personally. Examining this information takes time,” he said, adding that they obtained documents from a number of institutions, including the Justice and Interior Ministries, the Financial Crime Investigation Board (MASAK), the High Education Board (YÖK) and the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet). 

Petek also said the report would consist of three parts, with the first examining the formation of FETÖ, its legal and illegal structures and the way it works. 

“The July 15 coup attempt and how it was suppressed is the second part. In the conclusion, the precautions to prevent further coup attempts are included. Legal, administrative, educational and religious precautions are listed separately,” he said. 

During the interview, Petek also said they were in the final stage of preparing the report and that the draft report was about to be finished. The commission will examine the draft report, receive additional views and then present the report to the parliament. 

“We are not happy about this taking a long time. However, we can’t say ‘We should submit it quickly’ and prepare a hasty report. I care about this report a lot, because it will be presented to the parliament and will be addressed to the Turkish and global public,” he said. 

Petek acknowledged that they did not lengthen the process despite Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and National Intelligence Agency (MİT) Chief Hakan Fidan’s refusal to answer the panel’s questions but said they were still expecting a wide-scale report from MİT. 

“We are not extending the process just because of them. We expect an extensive report from MİT, and I know that efforts are being carried out. It will reach our commission and will contribute to our report,” he said. 

The fact that Fidan and Akar have not testified to the commission has previously stirred debate, with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) registering its criticism on the matter.