The unedited transcription.
I previously shared my opinion about whether Gulen is behind the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey. Now I will discuss five pieces of evidence that have emerged recently about that connection.
First, let me highlight five points to clarify the context in Turkey.
Number one, there’s a state of emergency which overrules the Turkish Constitution at the moment and even the European Court of Human Rights.
The second point is that most confessions may not be reliable, as Amnesty International has reported, there is credible evidence of torture and even rape in custody.
The third is the Freedom House report stating that Turkey is “Not Free” in terms of press freedom so everything we learned from Turkish media is mostly filtered and biased.
And number four the judicial independence is severely threatened. Over 3,000 judges and prosecutors have been sacked, some of them were arrested and their belongings were confiscated. So if you were a judge in that condition it would intimidate you and finally, it’s been a month and we still don’t know basic answers to fundamental questions about the coup. Who gave the order to all? Who gave the order for the coup? What was the plan if they succeeded? Where, when and how was the coup planned? We don’t know any of this. So what was the evidence that links Gulen or Hizmet movement to attempt this infamous coup?
THE FIRST EVIDENCE that comes up is that the chief of staff general Akar claimed that one coupists wanted to put him on the phone with Gulen, but the coupist in question denies this. Well, I want to raise five points about Akar’s statement.
FIRST: Akar’s statement contradicts with the statements given by other people in the room. TWO: Remember that Akar is a hardcore Kemalist so he has the motive to follow Erdogan’s narrative and to blame Gulen. THREE: It is unclear whether Akar was involved in the coup or not. FOUR: The coupists would know that any phone call would be intercepted by foreign intelligence agencies, which is not a rational option. FIVE: The coupists might be covering their tracks by misdirecting it to let’s say a CONVENIENT SCAPEGOAT which is Gulen in this case.
THE SECOND EVIDENCE is Levent Turkkan’s confession. He is the aide-de-camp of Chief of General Staff and he claims that he received orders from Gulenists. However, this so-called confession was served to media with a picture that shows signs of torture in that statement. He also claimed that “I have written this with my handwriting.” Well, I find it hard to believe. If I were to be him, under those circumstances, I would have probably confessed to the “Assassination of John F. Kennedy” as well.
THE THIRD EVIDENCE is that three police officers who claim to be Gulenists were caught during the coup. Mithat Ayranci was one of them. He denied any connection to Gulen and said: “I was trying to stop the coup.” Mithat was sacked from his job a year ago with the allegations of having a link to Gulen but the court decided that allegations were baseless and he should be reinstated in his position. However this never happened, the next thing we know is that he appeared in the coup attempt. Does this mean he was a Gulenist? Or he was under instructions from Gulen? Or he was just the resentful man? If it was a Gulenist move, it begs the question though, “Why did the other sacked police not take a part in the coup?” A point to note here, 4,000 police officers who worked in the strategic positions such as intelligence unit, counterterrorism unit, organized crime and financial crime units etc. have been subjected to the purge with abstract allegations recently. The allegations were questionable but they served a purpose: There hasn’t been a single corruption case since 2013 in Turkey.
THE FOURTH EVIDENCE is that there are three engineers who took part in the coup, having worked in Gulen inspired institutions previously. However, it is not clear whether they took part willingly or under stress. We don’t know how many other engineers with other affiliations were involved either.
THE FIFTH EVIDENCE is a theology professor Adil Oksuz. He was arrested in a village near the Akinci Air Base and the claim is that he is the link between the army and Gulen. However, he said in the statement that he was there to buy a land in the village. He was released after his initial statement and now there is a warrant for his arrest. Is he the conduit between Gulen and the coupists as claimed by the media? I don’t know for sure.
As a conclusion, I still think it wasn’t Gulen or his supporters who were behind the coup. Otherwise, we would have seen many more Gulenists taking part in the coup attempt but that was not the case! Only 1.5% of the army took part in the coup attempt but forty-five per cent of the generals, mostly pro-NATO generals, were dismissed and most of them were arrested. Very few of the coupists stated that they had an affiliation with Gulen and in fact, most confessed having other secular-Kemalist affiliations. All the important questions still remain unanswered but pro-government media is constantly rubbing the same few confessions in our face for a reason. I think we can only learn the truth about this plot by an international investigation with the help of world intelligence agencies.