Turkish coup commission to request information from intel agency, army for second time

Turkish coup commission to request information from intel agency, army for second time

Turkish coup commission to request information from intel agency, army for second time

AFP photo

The commission formed to investigate Turkey’s failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt will ask for information from the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) and the Turkish General Staff regarding the thwarted coup. 

The commission seeks reports from the MİT and the General Staff, said the head of the parliamentary commission formed to investigate the coup attempt and the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), Reşat Petek, daily Habertürk reported on May 5.

Reports were presented to the commission by the police, the Turkish High Council for Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) and all ministries regarding the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, widely believed to have masterminded the foiled coup. 

The commission requested information from a total of 141 people and previously also asked the army and the intelligence agency to submit reports. Because neither institution has yet sent a reply to the commission, another request for information will be made. 

Petek, who is a deputy for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) from the Mediterranean province of Burdur, said that if no reply is submitted for a second time, the report will be completed with the current information that the commission has. 

“We will give the draft report to the commission members soon. We will prepare the report via taking their views into account and completing the missing points if there are any,” Petek told daily Habertürk.

The fact that MİT chief Hakan Fidan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar have not testified to the commission had previously stirred debate, with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) criticizing the commission.

One of the commission members, CHP deputy Aykut Erdoğdu, criticized the commission for not listening to Akar and Fidan even though it had the right to request an additional month to complete the report. 

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also questioned why Akar and Fidan did not testify, claiming that “they were prevented by the government from giving their statements.”

“What are we going to do if a government prevents the coup commission from inviting people? Of course we will question their sincerity. They prevented two key names from being invited. Why are you doing this? If I don’t ask it, then the coup will be covered up. After the formation of the commission, we understood that the government wants to cover up this coup,” Kılıçdaroğlu told private broadcaster NTV in an interview on April 5.

The commission established to enlighten the coup attempt and the effects of secret organizations to politics started working on Oct. 4, 2016. The commission held a total of 22 meetings in three months, which in total lasted for 142 hours and 22 minutes, and listened to 51 people. 

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