Turkish parliamentary commission censors report on controversial July 15 coup

Turkish Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman

A deputy from Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has said that the dissenting opinion of his party has been ignored in a report prepared by a Parliamentary Commission investigating the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. 

Zeynel Emre, CHP deputy and member of the Parliamentary Commission, has said that the dissenting opinion of the CHP has been removed from the commission report. According to a news story published by Cumhuriyet daily, Emre said that the dissenting opinion of the opposition is not going to take place in a report for the first time in the history of Turkish Parliament.

Deputy Emre said the censored commission report to be published without involving the main opposition CHP’s annotation “Fellowship of AKP-FETÖ.” “FETÖ” is a pejorative acronym that Turkey’s Islamist government has used to smear the civic Gülen movement as a “terrorist organization.”

CHP’s 71 pages annotation was including the photos of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and AKP’s executives, statements of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) speakers regarding Gülen, and related press clippings.

Turkish Parliament’s Islamist Speaker İsmail Kahraman has accepted that the report of the commission is not going to involve the dissenting opinion of the CHP concerning the past relation between the AKP and Gülen movement. Kahraman also stated that making a decision on the basis of publishing the additional commentary belongs to the commission chairmanship, and therefore he accepted that he could not do anything.

The draft report of the commission included harsh criticism targeting the main opposition party CHP and its leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu even though it was not including that section in the draft copy. Thereupon, the commission members of the CHP met with the Kahraman, hence it was given additional time to submit additional annotations to the report.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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