CHP deputy Akaydın calls on Turkish gov’t to prove coup attempt was not staged

Turkey's main opposition CHP deputy Mustafa Akaydın

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Mustafa Akaydın has asked the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to prove that last summer’s controversial coup attempt was not staged, NTV reported on Wednesday.

Calling on the government to prove that the July 15 coup was not a “controlled and theatric coup attempt,” Akaydın said: “I call it theater. I would be convinced if you proved that it was not theater. MİT [National Intelligence Organization] was informed by 14:20, news articles had been written about it months earlier. Are those not theater?”

Akaydın, who holds the government responsible for the death of more than 240 people during the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2015, asked why civilians instead of the police were sent to fight against putschists.

“Why were civilians sent to the Bosporus Bridge instead of police forces? Is it not the invitation of the state that caused the martyrdom of 248 heroes? While the prime minister was hiding in a tunnel, why did not even one minister go to challenge the tanks? How could the president say ‘the coup is a gift from God’? The state has to pay for it. It will. It is my duty to ask this on behalf of my voters,” said Akaydın, adding that a lynching campaign by the pro-government media will not save the prime minister from paying for it.

Akaydın also asked why the political aspect of the coup attempt was not revealed, and why MİT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar did not testify before the parliamentary coup commission.

The pro-government media targeted Akaydın over his coup statements and accusations that the Turkish government was the murderer of civilians who were killed on the night of the coup attempt.

In a voice recording on Aug. 3 Akaydın said: “When news started to flow, I told my wife that this was theater. A few days later, during a party group meeting at Parliament that was closed to the press, I said ‘This is a theatric coup attempt.’ My deputy friends reacted against me and said it was a coup attempt carried out by FETÖ [a derogatory term coined by the government to refer to members of the Gülen movement].

“Dear friends, I am the child of a soldier. I even remember the 1960 coup very well because I was 8 years old and I witnessed many things at home. We witnessed many coup attempts. We especially witnessed the February 28 coup because my father had an active role in it. But I have never seen something like this. This cannot be a coup. Coups take place at around 2-3 o’clock. Let’s say they deceived us.

Friends, there were many articles in the newspapers three months earlier saying that a coup attempt would take place. All data indicate that MİT knew about it when the coup attempt started. And the chief of general staff also knows it. A man called O.K. informed MİT. But it did not inform people who should have been informed. And the president [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] — now he is also the chairman of the AKP, therefore I do not call him president — says ‘I learned about it from my brother-in-law.’ This cannot be true. This is mocking the intelligence of the people.”

CHP deputy Akaydın has been sued multiple times for calling the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016, a “theater.” “The killer of the 250 citizens is the state. I’m saying this openly as a deputy,” Akaydın said on August 3, prompting the July 15 Foundation to file a complaint against Akaydın to “protect the legal rights of the martyrs and veterans.”

The head of the foundation, Abdurrahman Tarık Şebik, has claimed “FETÖ” mobilized to disperse the atmosphere of unity and solidarity that emerged after the attempted takeover through “its political leg.” Şebik also claimed the CHP “assumed the role of being the mouthpiece of the perception trying to be created by FETÖ,” urging that Akaydın’s parliamentary immunity must be lifted.

In Antalya, a group of lawyers have also filed a complaint against Akaydın, with lawyer Ahmet Onaran saying that the language is the same as the “murderer state” rhetoric used by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). “It’s impossible not to think whether the political leg of FETÖ took action after these statements. We urge all citizens in Antalya to follow this case,” Onaran said, adding that they filed a complaint over “inciting people to hatred and enmity,” “making up a crime,” “humiliating the Turkish people, republic and its institutions” and “being a member of or founding a terrorist organization and working on behalf of it.”

Akaydın was also slammed by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, who called on CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to “end this shame.” “The people are wondering what you will do against this man who hurt the souls of our martyrs,” Yıldırım said on Aug. 8, adding that “the CHP got out of control.”

Another criticism came from Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ, who accused the CHP’s Akaydın of being a mouthpiece for “FETÖ” over his “theater” claims.  “It’s obvious that FETÖ persuaded him,” Bozdağ said on August 9, while calling on Kılıçdaroğlu to “carry out interparty discipline.”

Kılıçdaroğlu in April said the coup attempt occurred within the knowledge of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and was therefore a “controlled coup,” which also stirred debate. (SCF with

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