(Cemalettin Ayd?n*) - In the night of July 15th, 2016, Turkish people failed a bloody coup attempt
which was perpetrated by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO) headed by Fethullah Gülen, who sees himself as the “Imam of the Universe” and whose followers infiltrated into Turkish Armed Forces and other government institutions for years. It was an unprecedented terrorist attack in the history of the Republic of Turkey. Plotters killed unsuspecting military personnel who took them for their comrades in arms and commanders who refused to take part in the attempt. The putschists used fighter jets to bomb the Turkish Parliament, the Presidential Compound, the National Intelligence Headquarters, and Special Forces Headquarters in an effort to subdue the resistance against them. They also attempted to assassinate the elected President. Our 250 citizens martyred, and nearly 2200 were injured.
Thanks to the strong leadership of His Excellency President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, firm stance of the Government, support of the opposition, media and most importantly Turkish people, this heinous act was thwarted in a few hours. Turkish people confronted the putschists with a great courage by banding together. They stopped the tanks by standing in front of them. They shielded themselves to protect state institutions, their leaders, elected government and constitutional order, and in fact their future. They did not leave the squares for 28 days to confirm that they are the sentinels of our democracy. Thus, Turkish people proved that the future of Turkey will be shaped by the people’s will not by the armed bandits. On the 7th of August 2016, 5 million Turkish citizens of different backgrounds and political orientations came together in Yenikap?, Istanbul to demonstrate that nobody is above our national will.
The followers of Gülen constitute a typical case of radicalization by a cult of personality. They believe that Gülen is the "Messiah" and that they are the "golden generation". Their loyalty is to him only, making them violate any legal, religious or ethical codes in order to advance the interests of this group. They also excelled in concealing their affiliation with him, so that they can penetrate all circles without raising suspicion. In other words, FETO is a new generation terrorist organization that is based on hypocrisy, concealment and secrecy.
In fact, Turkish Government had already taken action against FETO before 15th of July. Their prep-schools, which is their main human and financial source had been shut down. The police and judiciary had also started to discharge the FETO members from their ranks. FETO was about to lose its power in Turkey and 15th of July was their survival attempt. Now after a year of administrative, criminal and judicial investigations, we have a better grasp of what had happened on the 15th of July. We have also mapped the network of the organization on a very large scale. Discovering the encrypted communication system of FETO, “Bylock” was also a breakthrough in that regard.
The State of Emergency which was implemented right after the coup attempt did not affect the daily lives of our citizens. In fact, it helped our institutions to act swiftly.
Moreover, taking into consideration the recommendations of the Council of Europe, an Inquiry Commission has been established to address the measures taken through Emergency decrees. With the establishment of the Inquiry Commission, the most important recommendation of the Council of Europe was fulfilled. This decision was announced by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe as a significant step forward, along with all other existing national remedies. The Inquiry Commission has also been recognized by the European Court of Human Rights as a domestic legal remedy.
We will continue to our fight against FET?, internally and externally, with rule of law, democracy and morality, which they despise most.
In retrospect, Turkey is much stronger now. We are carrying out huge projects country wide and foreign direct investments are increasing day by day. Most importantly, Turkish people proved that Turkey is a democracy and will always be.
On this occasion, we would like to reiterate our utmost appreciation and thanks to His Excellency President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, as he was among the first leaders who called His Excellency President Erdo?an following that gruesome night, the Sudanese Government and brotherly people of the Sudan for their immediate support and solidarity against the coup attempt and their close cooperation in the fight against FETO. We also thank Sudanese Government for the transfer of formerly FETO related schools in Khartoum and Nyala, South Darfur to Turkish Maarif Foundation where we commemorated our martyrs on 15th of July 2017 as the first anniversary of the heinous coup attempt. We are sure that the Turkish Maarif Schools will be a milestone in Turkish-Sudanese relations in the field of education.
Once again, we strongly condemn the heinous coup attempt and commemorate our martyrs and veterans with respect.
We will never forget!
*Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in the Sudan.