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Turkish Ambassador speaks on home country’s coup attempt

Aug 17, 2016, 12:03 PM

The Turkish Ambassador to The Gambia, Ergin Soner, yesterday called a press conference at the embassy in Brufut to share with the local media the situation in Turkey, following the attempted coup on 15 July 2016.

The ambassador commended The Gambian government for demonstrating “the needed solidarity with Turkey” since the early hours of the coup attempt.

Here is an excerpt from Ambassador Ergin Soner’s statement:

“As you may recall, on Friday, July 15, at around 9pm, despicable terrorists of the Fethullah terrorist organisation – FETO (Gulen group) targeted the legitimate government, the country’s elected president, the constitutional order as well as the civilian people and the democracy the Turkish nation cherish was at stake.

“Since then Turkey has been fighting the enemies of democracy with democracy. And the Turkish nation and her leadership expects solidarity from its allies and friends after the failed coup attempt. 

“Before I go further, I would love to note that the Gambian leadership has demonstrated this needed solidarity with Turkey since the early hours of the events, and we commend H.E. President Jammeh for that.

“It is apparent that the gulen feto terror network has over the past decades infiltrated into all state and non-state institutions. The movement’s infiltration into Turkish state dates back to late 1980s. For example, this coup attempt was staged by a clique inside the Turkish armed forces linked with the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation.

“The perpetrators of the coup were the military officers who had risen to critical positions which were vacated by the sham sledgehammer trial. Operation sledgehammer is the name of an alleged Turkish military coup plan dating back to 2003.

“The accusation that the coup attempt was led by Gulenist generals is not based on simple force of assertion.

The claim is backed by statements of those under arrest and information from multiple agencies.

“One of Fethullah Gulen’s sermons which was included in the indictment of 1999 epitomizes the gulen’s believe in secretive and incremental takeover from within and that the change should come from the bottom up:  ‘you must move in the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence until you reach all the power centers… until the conditions are ripe, they (the followers) must continue like this… you must wait for the time when you are complete and conditions are ripeuntil we can shoulder the entire world and carry it… you must wait until such time as you have gotten all the state power, until you have brought to your side all the power of the constitutional institutions in Turkey… until that time, any step taken would be too early – like breaking an egg without waiting the full 40 days for it to hatch. It would be like killing the chick inside.’ 

“The Gulen Movement is embraced by the western media and politicians as a promoter of peace and interfaith dialogue – which is absolutely false picture of gulen and his movement.

“Fethullah Gulen actually left Turkey subsequent to a trial that charged him with toppling the secular state in 1999.

“The rogue officers, with their strong appetite for huge destruction, went on to attack the presidency, attempted to assassinate the President, fire at police stations with fighter jets, killing dozens of police officers tasked with protecting the order.

“The heartless terrorists dropped bombs on the Turkish parliament while the legislature was still in session.

“High-profile security personnel were kidnapped by their own personal security details and attacks on all facets of democratic institutions took place nearly simultaneously.

“Tragically, 246 Turkish citizens lost their lives during this violent terror campaign – of those, regrettably, 179 Innocent civilians who just stood bravely in front of the thanks and reclaimed their democratic rights. The number of wounded citizens went up to over 2,000.

“I am proud to state that the coup attempt failed not only because of the ever determined Turkish armed forces, but also due to the obvious fact that it was not embraced by the Turkish nation.

“Turkish democracy won a battle that night. Yet, there is also the war to win to fully finish this painful episode of our life.

“The process of trying the arrested suspects is ongoing in various competent Turkish courts.

“I have the conviction that all suspects will have a fair trial because turkey is a bastion of democratic universal values and norms along with human rights and the rule of law.

“The AK party, since coming to power in 2002, has been reckoned with upholding the rule of law by promoting and protecting human rights.

“Due to the severity of the situation as unfolded on July 15, the Turkish state had to take required measures for its public order and security. And this has been done as prescribed by the constitution and relevant laws and in full observance of our international obligations.

“In this regard, the declaration of the state of emergency, by H.E. President Erdogan on July 20, is nether to restrict fundamental rights and freedoms of our citizens, nor to compromise democracy or the rule of law. It serves to act in the most speedy and effective manner in the fight against the FETO terrorist organisation and return to normalcy as soon as possible.

“Although the state of emergency has been declared for 90 days, we aim to end it as soon as the fight against the feto terrorist organisation is successfully attained.

“Naturally, during the state of emergency, Judaical remedies are available, against these measures including the right of individual application to the constitutional court, not to mention the European court of human rights (ECHR).

“It is worth to note that the Turkish people coming from all segments of life, regardless of who they support politically, continue to gather in cities’ squares to show their attachment to democracy.

“The political parties in the parliament do the same in defending together our democratic values and our constitutional order, consolidating the democratic cohabitation against the waves of polarization in political circles. This gives us further hope and confidence in our fight against the enemies of our democracy.

“I thank you all for your kind attention.”