Following the failed July 15 coup attempt, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has founded provincial monitoring commissions to rid the party of members of the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ) that have sneaked into various organizations from within. This will be the second-largest intra-party fire since the Dec. 17-25 coup attempt by FETÖ in 2013.
The provincial monitoring commissions research whether organization managers or mayors have a relationship with FETÖ or not, while also studiously reviewing FETÖ's political and economic structures including its financial resources in the region. The commissions which consist of deputies, municipal directors and mayors will then report these findings to concerned authorities who then take necessary action.
Sources from the AK Party stated they are working quite intensively and that it would not be easy for a FETÖ member to hide himself for a long time within the party, adding that these members might not only be top officials but also from lower levels within the party which would be easy to detect.
Also, considering that tips received from political rivals might not always be true, the monitoring commissions will act upon evaluating the reports received very carefully. The AK Party further warned its organizations against any provocations, as secret FETÖ members are capable of trying to provoke people, adding, "Do not pay regard to such provocations and report those to the police and warn us."
Thousands of people have been arrested and tens of thousands of civil servants have been suspended since July 15, on grounds that they are secret FETÖ members. Ankara has repeatedly said the deadly coup attempt in which 239 martyrs lost their lives and 2,200 others were injured, was organized by FET; leader Fethullah Gülen's followers. The former preacher is also accused of implementing a long-running campaign to overthrow the Turkish state by infiltrating Turkish institutions; particularly the military, police, and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the parallel state. Gülen has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. since 1999 and Turkey has sent the U.S. two official extradition requests for the former cleric to be brought to justice.
After a former commander of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), İlker Başbuğ, said in a televised interview that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan fought against Gülenists on his own between 2012 and 2016, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has recently said that the AK Party, and especially Erdoğan, was left alone in the fight against the FETÖ.
Evaluating the lead up to the failed July 15 coup attempt at the AK Party parliamentary group meeting, Yıldırım said: "We could not receive the support we expected from political parties or the media." He said the AK Party started a war with FETÖ, specifically after the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 coup attempt.
Yıldırım spoke about the recent legislation decrees during the current state of emergency. He said that the greatest reforms were done within the structure of the TSK, and asserted these reforms should not be perceived as steps to weaken the military, but to strengthen its structure. "We are once again turning the TSK into a military that will be envied by the whole world," Yıldırım said, adding that it is necessary for the TSK to focus on its fundamental duties.
Yıldırım said that the control of the gendarmerie and the Coast Guard Command will be transferred to the Interior Ministry and the structure and the gathering methods of the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) have been changed. He said that the Supreme Military Administrative Court and the Military Supreme Court are now repealed, and that from now on, service commands will be controlled by the National Defense Ministry. He said the military barracks in Ankara and Istanbul will be moved from inside the cities to rural areas. "We will transfer all our accumulation to the border region to defend our country against external threats," Yıldırım said, also adding that Güvercinlik Air Base in Ankara will be shut down along with Akıncı Air Base.