AKP fears coup plotters pointing finger at Erdoğan for July 15 at commission

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Turkey's former Chief of Staff Ilker Basburg (C) speaks to the members of a parliamentary commission investigating the failed July 2016 coup, at the parliament in Ankara on November 3, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies are uneasy with the work of a parliamentary commission established to investigate a failed coup attempt on July 15 and do not want the coup plotters to testify to the commission, fearing that they could accuse President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of masterminding the coup attempt, according to a story in the Cumhuriyet daily on Sunday.

The coup investigation commission, which includes members from the AKP as well as opposition deputies, is being widely criticized for not inviting figures who could give useful information that may shed light on the incident. The coup investigation commission has not even heard the chief of general staff, who was taken hostage by coup plotters on the night of the coup or the head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT).

The coup investigation commission has also rejected calls to hear coup plotting military officers who are currently in jail.

Cumhuriyet said AKP deputies are uncomfortable with the accusations of some people who testified to the commission so far who accused the AKP of not taking the necessary measures to prevent the coup attempt.

“They [coup plotters] could say anything for slander. What will happen if one of them says they received the order for the coup from the president or the prime minister? Those coming to the commission are directing accusations at us. This atmosphere [created by this] inflicts damage on our party,” Cumhuriyet said, quoting AKP officials without naming them.

The July 15 coup attempt claimed the lives of more than 240 people and injured a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the government along with President Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Despite Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, whose views inspired the movement, and the movement having denied the accusation, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

More than 115,000 people have been purged from state bodies, in excess of 90,000 detained and over 39,000 have been arrested since the coup attempt.

 

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