Turkish military to establish unit to clear Gülenist members

Turkish military to establish unit to clear Gülenist members

Turkish military to establish unit to clear Gülenist members A special unit in the Turkish Armed Forces is slated to be formed to clear members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) from the military, daily Milliyet reported on July 20.

The main duty of the unit will be to conduct personnel security investigations on military staff. 

“A unit needs to exist for security investigations. This exists in all of the militaries in the world. A final stage has not been achieved yet. A solution appropriate to our structure will be found after analyzing other models in the world,” said Deputy Prime Minister Fikri Işık. Işık was defense minister before being appointed on July 19 as an aide to the prime minister. 

Military officials had complained about not having the chance to conduct an intelligence study on their personnel in the parliament’s coup investigation commission, set up to probe the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt. 

Asked about the military’s demand that an umbrella network consisting of elements of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), the police department, and military be established, Işık said: “This should not be assessed as intelligence. A unit should exist to look into individuals’ security investigations. Therefore, such work is being undertaken in the Prime Ministry.”

When asked about dismissals of officers from the military and how that would be compensated, Işık said they would carry out an effective planning. “There are dismissals of FETÖ members and this is continuing. Lastly, almost 550 people were dismissed [from the military] with the last emergency decree... The military has the human resources department to do this. We are resorting to a more effective utilization with a more efficient planning. We do not have a problem that will lead to weakness. After determining names that will get promoted to become generals, the names whose duties will be extended, and those who are going to retire, we will work on the appointments,” he said. 

 “For a while, FETÖ dominated the whole intelligence of the police department. The military has been cleared from [FETÖ] after Dec. 17-25 [corruption investigations]. With time, the police department intelligence started to recover itself recently,” he said, referring to allegations the intelligence showed weakness regarding the appointments.

“They [FETÖ] were profoundly active in MİT. Now, it has also been cleaned. We are getting better every day. Regarding intelligence, quality intelligence is arriving. If we do not find it satisfactory, we ask [the authorities] again. Intelligence that enables [us] to form an opinion is coming. It leads to healthier decisions being made,” he noted.