Turkey’s coup commission drafts report despite opposition reservations

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (C) poses with head of Turkey's intelligence service Hakan Fidan (R) and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, who he accused of failing to inform him about a coup attempt on July 15 despite the fact that they had learned of the coup plan six hours earlier, in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Nov. 18.

A parliamentary coup commission established to investigate a July 15 coup attempt in Turkey has begun to draft its report despite the objection of opposition deputies since key figures were not invited to testify.

The opposition party members of the commission asked for the testimony of the Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and former chiefs retired generals Necdet Özel and Yaşar Büyükanıt to shed light on the mysteries surrounding the botched coup.

Despite the opposition’s requests, the commission started drafting a report, which led to tension among members as the report focused on the Gülen movement instead of questions regarding the coup attempt. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government holds the movement responsible for the coup despite the lack of any evidence or court verdict.

The coup commission aims to analyze the activities of the Gülen movement, holding it responsible for a wide range of suspicious deaths in the country in addition to the failed coup. The report drafted by the commission, which failed to hear testimony from key figures including head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Hakan Fidan, includes sections on the death of the eighth president of Turkey, Turgut Özal, the death of a nationalist political party leader named Muhsin Yazıcıoğlu, the murder of Armenian Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, the murder of researcher Necip Hablemitoğlu and even the death of religious leader Mahmut Esat Coşan in Australia.

The coup commission in the Turkish Parliament is criticized by many for merely listening to the memoirs of people who were far from responding to controversial statements on the nature of the July 15 putsch and who learned about the coup attempt and when they learned it. A video recently emerged that shows President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan talking to the press before an appearance on CNNTürk.

The public assumes Erdoğan appeared on CNNTürk first, but he blames the Gülen movement in this newly aired clip. As of today, it is still not clear when and how Erdoğan actually heard about the coup, while the main opposition argues that he knew about the coup in advance. Erdoğan described the coup as a “great gift of God” to facilitate cleansing within the state.

While Fethullah Gülen calls for an international investigation of the coup, the Turkish government has been undertaking the largest purge in its history by arresting at least 36,000 people including, but not limited to, journalists, academics, judges and prosecutors.

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