Almost a year has passed since the atrocious July 15 coup attempt, but there are still many points that need to be illuminated to learn how the course of events culminated in that horrendous night. The legal proceedings on the plotters and perpetrators of the coup are ongoing. The parliamentary coup investigation committee has also issued a report on the subject for its part. Despite having some missing points, the report covers the developments leading up to the coup attempt step by step. The National Intelligence Organization (MİT) has also compiled another relevant report.
It has gradually surfaced how soldiers of different ranks in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) were organized ahead of July 15 under the control of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) leader Fetullah Gülen and what points went unnoticed throughout the process. From the very beginning, I have argued that FETÖ was the orchestrator of the coup attempt, yet conventional putchist figures also joined FETÖ with an aim to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In this sense, it can be said that a group consisting of old and new coup supporters who were of the same mind about Erdoğan allied and organized the July 15 insurrection.
Tolga Şardan wrote a striking article published in the Milliyet daily on Monday, which details what kind of obfuscatory acts were undertaken before July 15. The article puts forward that the critical actors of the coup attempt impeded efforts to purge FETÖ affiliates from the TSK. In early 2016, the General Directorate of Security attempted to scrutinize Gülenist activities in the TSK on orders from the Ankara and İzmir Chief Prosecutor's Offices and a working group was formed for this. The group set out their scrutiny with the information provided by the soldiers aggrieved by FETÖ in the military espionage case heard in İzmir province. However, the General Staff did not answer the precepts sent by the prosecutor's office and police department. Today, we know that the legal counselor office of the General Staff, which is in charge of answering the questions related to the FETÖ inquiries in the TSK, was completely in the hands of FETÖ at the time.
As the General Staff did not return any answers, it decided to meet the Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler. An appointment was arranged with Güler, who is known for his Kemalist bent, but the delegation was welcomed not by Güler, but by then General Staff Chief of Personnel İlhan Talu, who turned out to be one of the key figures of the July 15 attempt, remarking that Güler referred him to the delegation. Of course, he did not answer the questions, always referring to Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and Güler. Eventually, it was made clear in the negotiations held in June 2016 that the questions would not be answered.
Upon this, the prosecutor's office informed Talu of the police and prosecutor's investigations, explaining that a search warrant would be issued if they kept resisting.Following July 15, it was revealed that Talu conveyed none of these meetings to Akar or Güler.
This striking incident might have led the plotters to attempt the coup earlier than they had planned out of panic. There are still many aspects of what happened in the run up to the coup attempt that need to be discovered and explained. There are also many figures who have successfully been able to hide until now. FETÖ's power has declined a great deal as a result of the fight against the group, but there are still a number of forces backing the terrorist group at some critical points. Therefore, the fight must be maintained meticulously and carefully.