A government whistleblower who writes under the pseudonym Fuat Avni and who claims to be in the inner circle of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has revealed that a secret group has been formed to frame opponents and critics of the government as part of an intimidation campaign by Erdoğan’s regime. Report Today Zaman
The whistleblower, who has exposed many government plans in advance over his Twitter account and whose revelations have generally proven true, claimed on Sunday that a group called the Cosmic Study Group (KÇG) has set up a secretive operation center to plot new conspiracies under special instructions from Erdoğan.
Fuat Avni disclosed the new venue as a building in Akay, in Ankara’s Çankaya district. The building was used by the Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Bureau of the National Police Department. The whistleblower wrote that the secretive group was illegally formed by confidantes to prevent information from being leaked to the public, and added that he knows all of the group’s members by name and that he will disclose their identities “when the time comes.”
Fuat Avni said the group includes one deputy chief prosecutor, four prosecutors and staff from the National Police Department’s Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime, Counterterrorism and Financial Crime Bureaus. The group has been compartmentalized into bureaus, and each bureau has one coordinator to manage the activities.
He said the KÇG has already started plotting new operations to frame critics of the government in order to please Erdoğan by engineering scenarios with fabricated evidence. The whistleblower said he knows all the government’s secret plans, warning that those who plot against unsuspecting citizens will be held accountable in the court of law when the time comes.
The whistleblower knew beforehand of a massive crackdown on media professionals that took place on Dec. 14. Many believe the revelations forced the government to limit the number of journalists they had been planning to detain.
The claim of mass detentions of some 400 people, including 150 journalists, was first raised by Avni, who later said the number was scaled down after his Twitter leaks.
Avni also claimed that Erdoğan wants Zaman Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı to be arrested, and that the KÇG has cooked up a plot to make that happen. He asserted that the detention of Dumanlı would be possible following a letter from Trabzon in which a man with a criminal record would say that Dumanlı asked him to plant bombs and ammunition. Avni said the man, Melih Gürler, has seen the inside of many prisons in the country and that he had been charged with robbery, extortion, sexual assault and false testimony in the past. Gürler is being used by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), Avni asserted.
Many suspected Avni’s revelation of the plot against Dumanlı prevented the secretive group from moving ahead with its plans, as the judge looking into Dumanlı’s case refused to arrest the journalists, citing a lack of new evidence.