CHP deputy implies July 15 coup attempt was staged

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Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Aykut Erdoğdu, a member of the parliamentary Coup Investigation Commission, has hinted that a failed coup on July 15 was a calculated move on the part of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice And Development Party (AKP) government.

Sharing a picture that shows Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım laughing, Erdoğdu tweeted on Saturday: “Why are they laughing? ‘How we have pulled off the coup…’”

Erdoğdu said in an interview with the Birgün daily in October that the AKP is trying to obscure the realities behind the failed coup attempt on July 15 since the commission is being prevented from doing its job by “hidden hands.”

“They are not clarifying that [July 15] night. MİT [National Intelligence Organization] head Hakan Fidan’s failure to inform Erdoğan [about the coup attempt], Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar’s captivity and release, prime suspect Adil Öksüz’s release after detention and Erdoğan’s statement that he was informed [about the coup attempt] by his brother-in-law have not been clarified,” he said.

Underlining that the CHP has demanded to hear Fidan, Akar and other high-ranking army officers, Erdoğdu said they were expecting the commission to expand its investigation on the coup attempt to the these hearings; however, the CHP’s attempts have always been blocked.

“The strongest and dirtiest hidden hand [to prevent the commission from continuing its investigation] is the ‘palace’ [Erdoğan’s] hand. It seems like the July 15 coup attempt was a Middle Eastern attempt. When we look at it from this angle, we can talk about more [hidden] hands. We also suspect hidden hands in MİT, the General Staff and foreign embassies wearing local gloves,” Erdoğdu said.

The parliamentary Coup Investigation Commission on Nov. 24 declined to hear the testimony of putschist general Mehmet Dişli, the brother of a senior ruling party politician, due to the “nay” votes of the AKP commission members. Maj. Gen. Dişli, brother of AKP Deputy Chairman Şaban Dişli, was actively involved in the coup and was arrested after the attempt failed.

The members of the commission from the AKP also refused to hear the testimony of military officers who bombed the parliament building on July 15.

Kati Piri, Turkey rapporteur for the European Parliament, said on Nov. 22 to a group of journalists in Strasbourg that despite the passage of four months since the attempted coup in Turkey, questions still persist.

“We don’t clearly know what happened and who was really behind it. Questions about July 15 are still there despite the fact that four months have passed. Investigative journalists do not have a chance to investigate and write about what happened,” said Piri upon a question as to whether the Gülen movement was behind the coup attempt.

The AKP government, which launched a war against the Gülen movement following the eruption of a corruption scandal in late 2013 in which senior government members were implicated, carried its ongoing crackdown on the movement and its sympathizers to a new level after the failed coup attempt on July 15 that killed 240 people and injured a thousand others.

Although the movement strongly denies having any role in the corruption probe or the coup attempt, the government accuses it of having masterminded both despite the lack of any tangible evidence.

Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a great gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

A report published by the German Focus magazine in August claimed that Turkish government members decided to put the blame for the coup attempt on Gülen half an hour after the uprising and agreed to begin a purge of Gülen followers the next day.

More than 120,000 people have been purged from state bodies, nearly 80,000 detained and some 40,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees included journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.

Critics argue that lists of Gülen sympathizers were drawn up prior to the coup attempt.

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