Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on Tuesday that the main perpetrator of a failed coup attempt on July 15 is still unknown despite the fact that Adil Öksüz has been declared the prime suspect by authorities.
Speaking during a General Assembly meeting in Parliament on Tuesday, Kurtulmuş said: “Adil Öksüz is just a shadowy figure. Who is the number one of the coup [attempt]? Nobody has gotten [that information] yet.”
Kurtulmuş said his statements are based on political experience rather than actual information.
“Literally, we don’t know the identities of the number one and number two [perpetrators of the failed coup]. We don’t know who would have come to power had the coup been successful. That information has not yet been revealed; however, we believe the courts will reveal all that.”
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement, inspired by the views of US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
Despite the fact that Gülen and the movement denied the accusation and called for an international investigation, 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, over 80,000 detained and nearly 40,000 arrested since the coup attempt. Arrestees include journalists, judges, prosecutors, police and military officers, academics, governors and even a comedian.
The assets of thousands of businessmen, schools, universities, hospitals, business associations and institutions allegedly linked to the Gülen movement have been seized by the AKP government.