Turkey’s main opposition leader says prime suspect in July 15 case worked for Turkish intel

Coup suspect Adil Öksüz (L), MİT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan (C) and Turkey's autocraitc President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said Adil Öksüz, the prime civilian suspect in a controversial coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016, works for the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), asking government to clarify questions concerning the coup attempt.

“There is a simple question to answer. The Prime Ministry will order and they will investigate which state institution imported that GPS device. Can they say ‘Adil Öksüz did not have such a device?’ Yes, he did. Can they say he did not have two mobiles? Yes, he did. Can they say he did not use the telephone? Yes, he did. All [suspects] were handcuffed, but he was not. Why? I can tell you. There was a change the MİT law in 2014. Without the approval of the prime minister, MİT members cannot be detained or arrested. Why was Adil Öksüz not arrested?” Kılıçdaroğlu said in an interview with NTV on Saturday, recalling that Öksüz was detained with two mobile phones and a GPS device and was released with the devices by the court.

Kılıçdaroğlu also underlined that the government cannot claim that they did not know Öksüz before because his name was mentioned as the “imam of the air forces” in previous indictments.

Accusing the government of trying to cover up investigations into the coup attempt, Kılıçdaroğlu called on the government to answer the questions instead of attacking him.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement, inspired by the views of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, of masterminding the putsch, a claim strongly denied by Gülen and his movement. One of the main pieces of evidence cited by the Turkish government for Gülen’s alleged involvement in the coup is Öksüz, who is accused of being the head of the Gülen movement’s alleged network within the Turkish Air Forces. He was briefly detained after the coup attempt and is still at large.

The government claims that before the July 2016 coup attempt, Öksüz traveled to the US, where he visited Gülen. Photographs of Öksüz and his child with Gülen at the Golden Generation Retreat and Recreation Center Pennsylvania where the Turkish cleric has been living since 1999 have appeared in the Turkish press as proof of Gülen’s personal involvement in the coup bid.

“When you consider Adil Öksüz, they found him somewhere, I don’t remember where it was, and then they released him, and then there turned out be a tie between him and Turkish intelligence,” Gülen said in an interview with France24 last month.

The CHP leader also strongly criticized the government for not allowing MİT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan and Chief of General Staff  Gen. Hulusi Akar to be questioned by a parliamentary commission that was established to investigate the coup attempt.

Fidan and Akar have been at the center of questions about their meeting a day before and hours before the coup attempt.

Testimonies show that MİT’s Fidan had an unusual meeting that lasted about six hours with Gen. Akar and Special Forces Commander Lt. Gen. Zekai Aksakallı a day before the coup attempt in Ankara during a ceremony that would normally would have taken place on July 15 but was unexpectedly moved to July 14.

An official statement and testimonies show that a major informed MİT about the coup plan at 14:00 and that MİT Undersecretary Fidan went to military headquarters to speak with Chief of General Staff  Gen. Akar. Fidan left at 20:30, about half an hour before the coup attempt was launched. (turkishminute.com)

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