CHP leader's email-tracking claims lead to alleged party links to FETÖ

MERVE AYDOĞAN @mgulaydogan
Published 07.04.2017 00:00

As Turkey prepares for the critical April 16 referendum on a constitutional amendment package that could be brought into force in less than two weeks, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu recently accused the government of allegedly tracking his emails. Earlier this week, Kılıçdaroğlu claimed that the government was tracking his emails in response to allegations regarding Adil Öksüz, one of the masterminds of the July 15 coup attempt. Commenting on the matter, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ told Hürriyet daily columnist Abdulkadir Selvi that "tracking emails is against the law. There is no such thing as it is a smear." However, the CHP chairman's recent remarks regarding FETÖ terrorist Öksüz and accusations of July 15 being a "controlled coup attempt" raised further questions about the credibility of Kılıçdaroğlu's claims.

The main opposition CHP leader has thrown a wrench in referendum campaign efforts with claims that include accusations that members of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) used Bylock, that Gülenist Adil Öksüz is supposedly a MIT agent and that the July 15 failed putsch was a"controlled coup attempt." However, Kılıçdaroğlu's remarks backfired on him immediately after Justice Minister Bozdağ called on the CHP leader to elucidate on emails sent to CHP Deputy Aytun Çıray. In a televised interview late Wednesday Minister Bozdağ asked Kılıçdaroğlu, "Did you or did you not receive an email from the U.S.? What did you do with the email you received, or did you do your recent remarks following the email you received?" The justice minister further called on Kılıçdaroğlu to "quit spreading the slander presented to you by FETÖ and its members, and stop trying to make it sound legitimate."

While Kılıçdaroğlu accuses the government of allegedly monitoring his emails, Hürriyet daily's columnist revealed the infamous sent emails not only to Kılıçdaroğlu but also to CHP İzmir Deputy Aytun Çıray and a journalist who wishes to remain anonymous. On Nov. 4, 2016, Çıray reportedly received an email from the Gmail account, owned by a user who identified himself as a member of the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT). In summary, the email claimed that "July 15 is a screenplay and planning for media propaganda was done ahead of the coup by the MIT. Adil Öksüz is a MIT agent" and finally wrote, "I am confident that the CHP will announce these truths to the public." CHP Deputy Çıray personally submitted the email to the Public Prosecutor's Office in İzmir on Nov. 5, 2016. The Turkish intelligence agency responded to the İzmir Prosecutor's Office on Nov. 28, 2016 in an official statement clarifying the allegations made. In summary, the MİT simply underlined that the format of the email did not match that of the official agency while the titles of the individuals mentioned were incorrect according to MIT standards. The MIT's formal statement finally stressed that "the MIT has never been in contact with Adil Öksüz."

Also, late yesterday, the MIT released another statement affirming that Adil Öksüz "has never been an asset for the agency against FETÖ and never worked for the MIT." The statement further stressed that "decrypting ByLock is the most significant way to eliminate FETÖ."

Meanwhile, Hürriyet daily's columnist Yaşar drew attention to Kılıçdaroğlu's 10-point declaration titled,"Taksim Manifesto" made shortly after the July 15 coup attempt, while reminding readers that it did not include a single mention of FETÖ. In addition to Yaşar, Hürriyet's columnist Selvi mentioned his Sept. 27 column which reads, "Following my article titled, ‘Is Adil Öksüz being protected' published on August 31, Mr. Kemal called me. He said he had received important information on Adil Öksüz which raised my curiosity. He said, ‘the intelligence information regards Öksüz being an MIT agent." Calling on Kılıçdaroğlu to "mind what he says," the columnist stressed that the two major claims regarding July 15 were brought up by CHP Chairman Kılıçdaroğlu. To further clarify Minister Bozdağ's calls for the CHP leader to explain the email, Nedim Şener, an investigative journalist and one of the most prominent victims of FETÖ, wrote on his column on March 31 this year that "FETÖ leader Gülen and his followers began to make statements accusing the coup attempt of being a ‘screenplay or a drama' when they couldn't reach their goal. In fact, FETÖ had circulated fake documents to make everyone believe their lies." Şener further reminded readers that FETÖ repeatedly uses such methods to deceive and confuse the minds of citizens, a method in which the CHP is seemingly being used as a tool to spread confusion via fake documents. On that note, Justice Minister Bozdağ says CHP leader "Kılıçdaroğlu speaks the language of FETÖ."

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