A member of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) confessed to interrogators that he collected confidential data about the military and supplied it to his superiors in the group, which is blamed for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
M.C. [identified only by his initials] was among the "secret imams" of FETÖ, a name given to civilian handlers of the group's infiltrators in the military. He was among hundreds of the group's handlers arrested following the coup attempt that killed 251 people. The suspect was in charge of the group's infiltrators at an airbase in Yalova, a city south of Istanbul. He invoked a remorse law granting lenient sentences to terror suspects that collaborate with authorities and confessed his ties to the group and his role. M.C. told prosecutors in Istanbul that the terrorist group would regularly ask for information about the infiltrators he oversaw and instruct him to maintain secrecy all the time. He said his superiors in FETÖ asked him to collect data about military officers that he derived from military infiltrators working with those officers. "Data" about officers covered everything, M.C. said, from officer's residential address to information about his car, his family, if he was a devout Muslim, whether he smoke or drank, had an extramarital affair, ideology and friends. All the data he collected would be "added" to a database he would then hand over to his "manager" in FETÖ. "There wasn't any information that could be used against targets, but they'd still ask me to collect it. I even gave them information about an officer who used a military-issued car while moving his house," he recounted in his testimony. The most substantial information he gave was if there was any "security shortcomings" of the military base. "They would tell us it was for ‘infiltration' by the terrorist group, and I did not question then what would happen if a foreign power gets hold of this information, like the number of people guarding the base and their daily shifts," he said.