In the previous article, we discussed the individuals who were invited to the Parliamentary Investigation Commission established to shed light on the July 15 Coup Attempt but did not attend. The focus of this article is on those who came before the commission and provided information.
First and foremost, it should be noted that the draft report of the Parliamentary Commission, which was the result of a 3-month investigation, seemed to have evaporated. The commission, which convened for a total of 142 hours in 22 separate sessions between October 4, 2016, and January 4, 2017, had its draft report announced by Chairman Reşat Petek on November 25, 2017. Other members of the commission claimed that they had not seen the final version of the report, did not know who wrote it, and that opposition opinions were not included in the report.
Despite this, the report, which was hastily submitted to the Parliament Presidency, was lost there and never published. Following the debates, Commission Chairman Reşat Petek published the full text of the report on his personal website.
According to information shared by journalist Barış Pehlivan, not publishing the report in its original form was to prevent Turkey from being in a difficult position in the international arena, to avoid paying compensation, and because it would benefit the Gülen Movement. Commission Vice Chairman Selçuk Özdağ confirmed this information.
SPEAKERS BEFORE THE COMMISSION
According to the report, the speakers who came before the commission and provided information included academics, politicians, military personnel, law enforcement officers, journalists, former Undersecretary of the National Intelligence Organization, and civilians, some of whom were theologians. I will not go into detail about each speaker since some of the information they provided might have been valuable enough for the report not to be published. However, I want to emphasize that listening to individuals who had animosity towards the Gülen Movement in the past, rather than those who had direct knowledge about the coup attempt, did not contribute to illuminating the events of July 15.
The commission’s first meeting was held on October 7, 2016. Naturally, some members’ requests for live broadcasting of the commission meetings were not accepted. A list of people to be heard was prepared. During the first meeting and subsequent ones, it was noteworthy to observe the competition among those who were previously involved in the Gülen Movement but had turned against it, trying to outdo each other in “how further they could denigrate it.”
FELONIOUS PROFESSOR ÇOMAKLI FROM FRAUD
One of the prominent figures who testified on October 13, 2016, Thursday, was Police Academy Deputy President Prof. Dr. Şafak Ertan Çomaklı. You may know Çomaklı from the expert report he prepared, which led to the appointment of a trustee to Koza İpek Holding. It had come to light that Professor Çomaklı had deceived academician Mehmet Soydan in 2007, promising to bring a car from Kyrgyzstan, and had been sentenced to 2 years in prison for fraud.
This Professor, who allegedly could not find any mistakes in Koza İpek Holding’s accounts, admitted, “In countries with delicate economic conditions like Turkey, there should not be no errors in corporate structures dealing with such high amounts of financial values; this is not consistent with economic, technical, and commercial realities. There is no perfect institution, accounting system, or financial structure anywhere in the world.” It is not surprising for someone like Şafak Ertan Çomaklı, who has flaws, to make such statements about a flawless structure.
So, what could this fraudster have said about July 15? I read the minutes of the meeting from beginning to end. It seems that his testimony does not differ much from the AKP trolls who “see the big picture.” He talks about seeing highly confidential documents showing that the Gülen Movement had infiltrated the state since 1980. It’s as if we’re seeing the state’s profiling documents for the first time!
What’s even more interesting is that on the last page of Professor Çomaklı’s doctoral thesis dating back to 2004, it is stated in his resume that he graduated from Aziziye College, one of the most successful schools in the East known to be close to the Gülen Movement. According to the information I received, Çomaklı’s mother, Zekiye Hanım, even served as the head of the school’s parent-teacher association at that time!
Now, wouldn’t you expect someone who knows the Gülen Movement so well to testify about the period when he was involved with them? Well, apparently not. In his approximately 24-page speech, he doesn’t say a single word about that period.
LOCAL NATIONAL ESCOBAR GALİP ÖZTÜRK
One of the most remarkable figures who spoke before the commission was Galip Öztürk, the owner of Metro Holding. Galip Öztürk, who was invited to the commission to obtain information about the financial sources of the Gulen Movement, is well-known to Tr724 readers.
Galip Öztürk had been sentenced to life imprisonment 22 years ago for the alleged mastermind of a murder case, and the Court of Cassation upheld the sentence. However, just as he was about to go to prison, the 17/25 operation came to his rescue. He claimed that police officers and judiciary members who claimed to be from the Gülen Movement set him up and requested a retrial and suspension of the execution.
In the meantime, Galip Öztürk appeared on both Sabah newspaper and A Haber TV, telling how he was arrested when he didn’t give the money the movement demanded from him and how he was, in fact, an honest and upright businessman. This allowed him to avoid going to prison and set off on a quest for even bigger loot as a “credible” businessman. As a result, he even declared his interest in Koza İpek Holding at the end of his testimony before the July 15 Commission.
Galip Öztürk told the commission that he had provided financial assistance to the Gülen Movement in the past but distanced himself from them after the 2009 Sledgehammer Case. Ironically, the person consulted for information about the financial sources of the Hizmet Movement turned out to be someone with a dubious fortune, involved in crimes ranging from instigating murder to drug trafficking. How could they trust the testimony of someone who was already involved in a life sentence!
Two years later, an unexpected development occurred, and the Court of Cassation General Criminal Chamber decided to continue the execution of Galip Öztürk’s life imprisonment sentence on October 11. Informed of this decision a day before, Öztürk sought refuge in Georgia. During a raid on Galip Öztürk’s house in Georgia in May 2022, the Georgian police found 7 kilograms of cocaine. He was arrested by the court for drug trafficking, money laundering, and tax evasion. The man who portrayed himself as a national and spiritual values-respecting, philanthropic businessman before the Parliamentary Commission turned out to be a “Local National Escobar” from within!
Mehmet Tahsin is a journalist and a columnist at TR724.com