CHP’s FETO report: FETOist rectors being appointed
In its final report, the CHP says “the AKP did not break with FETO after 15 July, either!” Does it suffice to say, “I was taken in. I didn’t know?”
The CHP’s first two reports covered the period prior to the 15 July bloody coup attempt. The CHP’s last report, by contrast, examines certain individuals in the aftermath of the 15 July bloody coup attempt. The report comes with a fairly controversial title: “The AKP did not break with FETO after 15 July, either!” There follows a summary of the report that starts by remarking: “The AKP government, which claims to have fought FETO following the 15 July coup attempt, nevertheless continues to keep certain figures whose names have had a long association with FETO in their posts. It does not stop here, and we witness the making of appointments that have brought certain figures with FETO associations into quite critical posts. Conversely, certain people who have spent their lives struggling against FETO are labelled FETOists just because of their opposition identity and are arrested or even placed in detention.”
“Süleyman Soylu is one of the most curious politicians of our recent past. In the days when he was Democrat Party General chair, he had harsh criticism for Erdoğan and the AKP with comments such as, ‘Corruption is oozing out of their trouser bottoms,’ ‘The Prime-Minister has introduced the mother of all corruption’ and ‘He sees himself as sultan.’ He then forgot these comments and passed to the AKP! However, there was one area in which he would brook no criticism. And that was FETO! Soylu, pretty sharp as his tongue may be, had no end of praise when it came to FETO. This was not all, and he hectored those who criticised FETO as if FETO’s lawyer and gave them a mauling! Despite his ample praise for FETO in the past, he was made Interior Minister in place of Efkan Ala following 15 July. However, nobody has been able to account for the thinking and logic behind bringing in Soylu, who had a past record of praising FETO far more than Ala, to head the fight against FETO.”
Educated in FETO schools
“Berat Albayrak was modest-living journalist Sadık Albayrak’s son. His father was on old acquaintance of Erdoğan. After marrying Erdoğan's daughter Esra Erdoğan, thanks in part to this acquaintanceship, both he and his brother Serhat Albayrak embarked on a rocket-like ascent. This ascent took Berat Albayrak as far as being Minister of Energy and Natural Resources. Some allegations have it that Erdoğan sees Berat Albayrak as heir to the throne or even envisages him taking Binali Yıldırım's place. Time will show if this is indeed so. Son-in-law Albayrak is a former pupil of one of FETO’s schools. He does not deny this, either.”
Erbaş’s critical signature
“Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş, who has recently been appointed to head the Directorate of Religious Affairs, at the fore among public bodies that take the biggest share of the budget, has courted controversy ever since taking up the post. It has emerged that Erbaş has crossed paths with FETO many times in the past, or has even been a member of the executive board of the Intercultural Dialogue Platform, one of FETO’s most important platforms. Erbaş, who also numbered among the regulars at FETO’s Abant Meetings, was also seen on events of the Kimse Yok Mu Association, a FETO aid entity. However, this is not the full run down on Erbaş. Erbaş’s signature has also been ascertained to have appeared on the doctoral thesis of fugitive Adil Öksüz, the key name in 15 July. Along with Erbaş, one of the individuals included on Öksüz's panel was Prof. Dr. Suat Yıldırım, at the time Dean of Sakarya University Faculty of Divinity. Suat Yıldırım, whose name had been touted as a potential future leader of the brotherhood after Fethullah Gülen, is today on the run. Another person on the jury, however, Prof. Dr. Davut Aydüz, was detained following the coup. The question whose answer is now awaited with curiosity is how and by what criteria was Erbaş, who was included on such a panel and had participated in many FETO events, selected to head the Directorate of Religious Affairs.”
What did Veren say about Atar?
“The allegation has been raised that Prof. Yavuz Atar, who is still a member of the Council of Higher Education and is President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's chief advisor, is a FETOist and this has been aired in the media. Moreover, this allegation was raised on pro-regime TGRT by Nurettin Veren, who had once been in Gülen's inner circle but left the organisation years ago and made important confessions. Nurettin Veren, who accused Atar of FETOism, asserted that after 15 July Atar went to Manas University in Kirghizstan alleged to be under FETO’s control. Atar, who responded through his lawyer to the allegations by Veren, claimed that he had no ties with FETO and had gone to Manas University under bilateral relations between Turkey and Kirghizstan and not through FETO’s intermediation. Atar may be right! But, with people undergoing prosecution in the absence of the slightest evidence of them being FETOists, when a person close to Erdoğan was involved, it was not even considered worth looking into the accusations.”
Whatever the general director says goes
“In the period in which İbrahim Şahin, whose current post is as a non-serving provincial governor, acted as General Director of the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), he is accused of filling the body with FETOists. He transferred a whole host of people from Samanyolu TV, FETO’s media outlet at the time, and placed them in important posts and he made figures who names were synonymous with FETO such as Ekrem Dumanlı and Hakan Şükür into commentators at the TRT on high salaries. Although Ahmet Koyuncu, who was made Deputy General Director with wide powers by Şahin, has been sentenced to eight years and one month’s imprisonment for FETO membership, and even though former TRT News Department Head Ahmet Çavuşoğlu has pointed to Şahin, saying, ‘At the TRT, everything is at the general director’s orders. He orders and we do. There is no independent initiative,’ the failure for a fresh investigation to be launched into Şahin has raised question marks.”
FETOist rectors are being appointed
“The claim that FETOists had once more been granted preference in appointments made after 15 July was borne out in person by AKP parliamentarian Şamil Tayyar, known for his admiration for Erdoğan. Tayyar, in a post he made on 14 September 2017 said, almost as if rebelling against his own party’s administration, “I have passed over them all but he has no excuse regardless of the reasons and background for the many FETOist rectors appointed after 15 July.” The person Tayyar is actually criticising without naming is Erdoğan himself, because Erdoğan’s approval is involved in nearly all appointments of rectors. From what can be inferred from Tayyar’s comment, “I have passed over them all,” it would appear that FETOists were also appointed in a great many different areas apart from rectors and this was also known about within the AKP.”
“The Supreme Election Council (SEC) gave rise to a massive disgrace following the 16 April referendum by not declaring unstamped votes to be invalid contrary to express statutory stipulation. SEC Chair Sadi Güven had great difficulty in announcing this disgraceful decision at that time. Sadi Güven’s name was mentioned in the testimony given in court on 16.11.2016 by former Adıyaman Republic Chief Prosecutor Faruk Büyükkaramuklu, who had been detained charged with FETO membership, as follows: ‘I was appointed Adıyaman Republic Chief Prosecutor under the 2011 summer decree. Sadi Güven, who is currently SEC Chair, is somebody I know from work placement in Fethiye. I told him that I wanted to be a chief prosecutor. And he was somebody who liked me and I was appointed Adıyaman Republic Chief Prosecutor in this way.’ This testimony on its own does not lead to the conclusion that Güven has FETO ties. However, is the judiciary, which inquires of Cumhuriyet trial defendant Güray Öz why he phoned a pitta vendor who is under investigation for FETO ties, not obligated to ask somebody in such a critical position why he gave a reference for a person who is being prosecuted on FETO charges? When calling a FETOist pitta vendor is a matter for investigation, why was appointing a person with FETO ties as chief prosecutor not? Considering the claims that were aired in certain media outlets following the referendum that Güven and certain SEC members did not cancel the unstamped votes for fear of being accused of FETOism by those in power, this question is forever going to weigh on people’s minds.”
Now a curator
“AK Party Adana MP in the 23rd and 24th parliamentary period, Fatoş Gürkan, Attorney-at-Law, one of twelve members of parliament on the AKP delegation that visited Fethullah Gülen's farm in the US state of Pennsylvania in 2012, was appointed as curator of 54 companies that were seized as part of the fight waged against FETO by Adana Chief Republic Prosecution. The appointing of Gürkan, who was on the delegation that went out to visit Gülen, as curator of the seized FETO companies is just one example of the insincerity that marks the AKP’s fight against FETO.”
If you want to be provincial governor
“One of the most important figures in the 15 July coup attempt was Major General Mehmet Dişli. Şaban Dişli, brother of Mehmet Dişli, who was alleged to have been a member of the ‘Peace at Home Council’ and is still in detention pending trial, has been made senior advisor with responsibility for the economy by Erdoğan. Even if Dişli subsequently resigned from this post, this appointment made following 15 July caused public uproar, because Şaban Dişli, who is alleged to have spoken on the phone to his big brother four times on the evening of the coup, has crossed paths with FETO in the past. Former Bolu Governor İbrahim Özçimen, brother-in-law of FETO’s police ‘prayer leader’ Kozanlı Ömer, made the claim under interrogation by the public prosecution that, ‘I intimated to Sakarya MP Şaban Dişli that I wanted to be a provincial governor. And he later told me that my name had been put forward.’ Criminal responsibility is personal in the eyes of the law. So, of course, Şaban Dişli cannot be held accountable for the crime committed by his brother. However, with this rule finding application by Erdoğan to Dişli, it is not applied to the relatives of thousands of detainees.”
Questions awaiting answer
The following questions in the CHP’s report beg answers:
Why are certain people who had blatant FETO ties in the past being protected and looked after and, furthermore, rewarded? Or, is AKP-FETO cooperation continuing in changed form?
Even if the AKP today appears institutionally to be against FETO, is it leaving the door open to renewed co-operation with FETO if circumstances change in the future by continuing to make use of figures whose names are still associated with FETO?
Considering the U-turns that the AKP and Erdoğan made over relations with Israel and Russia, going forward can Erdoğan make a U-turn over FETO?
What distinguishes these people who are protected and looked after from the others?
Are FETOists who have in some way managed to access Erdoğan and persuade him or who are considered to have a potential use being given immunity from the judiciary and prosecution?
TO ROUND UP
As will be recalled, the quarrel between the CHP and AKP over who FETO’s political leg was flared up furiously at the report writing stage of the Parliamentary Coup Investigation Commission that was set up with the support of all political parties. In sections appended to the commission report by the AKP without informing the opposition, the accusation was made that “the CHP is in the same union of purpose with FETO;” in response to this the CHP submitted a 71-page additional commentary. With the commentary casing disquiet within the AKP, it was initially removed from the commission report and then printing of the commission report was halted. One of the points over which the CHP made the harshest criticism was the Coup Commission’s AKP-affiliated Chair. The CHP, which gives the following description of Reşat Petek in the report: “AKP Burdur MP Reşat Petek, who acted as chair of the 15 July Coup Attempt and Activities Investigation Commission that was set up in parliament, was the most ardent of supporters of the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer trials in which the FETO-affiliated judiciary and security forces staged massive conspiracies with false evidence,” makes mention in the following lines so as to leave a footnote in history of comments Petek made and an article of his just fifteen days before 17 December, “Date: 2 December 2013. The processes within which tension began to rise in the AKP-Gülenists war. Reşat Petek is speaking to Star newspaper. Let’s read: ‘Petek said that with the structures that were jointly targeting the gentleman scholar Fethullah Gülen and the AK Party seeing the AK Party emerging strengthened from this process, they are this time trying to whip up strife between the Gülenists and the AKP.’ Petek, who was an active supporter of the FETOist prosecutors, assessed in an article he wrote on his website the assigning to other duties of Zekeriya Öz, the most prominent of these prosecutors to whom Erdoğan allocated his official car. Petek, saying in his article, ‘The prosecutors who conducted investigations taking risks with coupists, juntas and illegal organisations and heedless of threats have been shown appreciation and promoted,” noted in his article about FETOist prosecutor Zekeriya Öz, currently on the run, ‘Zekeriya Öz who, as a bold prosecutor took the first steps towards bringing Turkey’s Gladio before the judiciary, and his colleagues...’.” With CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu saying at his party’s group meeting two weeks ago, “FETO’s number one political leg is the individual occupying the Presidential chair. Let him take me to court and I’ll prove it,” the huge argument has flared back up. President Erdoğan has sued Kılıçdaroğlu for 250,000 lira in non-pecuniary damages. This lawsuit will be heard in the days to come. And these very reports, important sections from which I have brought to you for the past three days, will be submitted to the court bench by CHP administrators in the lawsuit in question.