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Turkey has proofs that coup attempt was done by FETÍ: Turkey Envoy

23 July, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organisation (FETÖ), which infiltrated into the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) over decades and organised the criminal act of coup attempt, was a terrorist outfit, in line with the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) and Daesh, said Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Sadik Babur Girgin on Friday in his first-ever briefing to Pakistani media after the failed conspiracy.

“Turkey has solid proofs that the coup attempt was an act of FETÖ, the leader of which, Fethullah Gülen, has been living in the United States for almost 20 years. Some confessions by the arrested plotters clearly reveal that the conspiracy was planned and carried out by FETÖ,” the envoy confirmed.

He said the country’s chief of general staff was taken as hostage by his personal staff officer, who was planted by the Gulen organisation as a young cadet in the army, later rising to the rank of colonel. The rebel officer had placed a recording device to spy on the chief while the information later was shared with a teacher to had connections with the terrorist organisation of Gulen, he informed.

The officer was repentant on his actions and requested the Turkish regret law be applied on him, as he was ready to cooperate with the authorities, the envoy said, while referring to the media reports on this count. Under the regret law, he added, the punishment of an accused could be reduced if he/she cooperated with the authorities.

Girgin said out of the total 7,423 detained personnel of the armed forces, 220 were charged and would later be tried in the court while investigation was underway against others. “Out of the coup plotters, 24 died and 50 remain wounded in captivity, while 208 citizens including 145 civilians, 60 police officers and three soldiers got martyred while defending their homeland against perpetrators. However, the number could change as investigation was still underway,” he elaborated. Girgin said the initial reaction of the world to the failed coup was disappointing but now almost all the governments had condemned the plotters. He specifically mentioned Pakistan, which according to him, did react immediately by extending its support to the elected government of Turkey.

He said Turkey’s fight against terrorist organisations like PKK and Daesh would continue as before, adding that the coup attempt of July 15 was not an action of the Turkish Armed Forces as an institution. “The number of military officials who infiltrated into the TAF over the decades amounts to less than one percent of its total strength, which clearly demonstrated that the institution was oblivious of the conspiracy,” he clarified.

The high command of TAF and the majority of the army declared their opposition to the attempt from the beginning, he said, adding that the Turkish chief of general staff and some high-rank commanders were taken hostage by the plotters. He said other high-ranking commanders appeared on TV and declared that TAF was not behind the coup attempt.

“It was the Turkish nation, above all, that thwarted the coup by resisting on the streets. Political leaders stood firm. President flew to Istanbul bearing all risks. The parliament immediately met in an extraordinary session and all political parties signed a declaration opposing the coup attempt. Turkish media played also an important role to defend the democracy. We have been asking all friendly countries to take necessary measures against this terrorist group. The terrorists will be tried and sentenced in accordance with the law,” the envoy added.

Despite all transparency, he lamented, some factions of international media were distorting the facts, adding that detentions were being presented as ‘arrests’, while precautionary suspensions of civil servants during investigations were being presented as ‘sacking’.

He said Turkey has declared ‘emergency’ for three months as stipulated in the constitution. “This is not a martial law, civilian rule continues. Life of civilians, tourism and economy in Turkey will not be affected. It gives immediate powers to the government against terrorism,” he added.

The envoy said life returned to normal the next day throughout the country, as Turkish Airlines resumed flights within hours. “Only two Turkish Airlines flights to Pakistan were cancelled during that night. There have been no major reservation cancellations by Pakistani passengers, which showed their support to Turkey,” the ambassador pointed out.

To a query about President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan’s request of extraditing Gulen from US, he referred to the statement of American Vice President Joe Biden that Washington would do what was necessary if it was given the evidence on Gulen’s involvement in the coup.

Regarding the imposition of the state of emergency in Turkey, he said it was sanctioned by 75 percent of the parliament.

To a query about media, he said it was not correct that media had been gagged in Turkey. However, he added, if the journalists were involved in illegal activities, they would be tried under the law of the land. He said no one was allowed to be disrespectful to the Turkish president as he represented the nation and if someone did such a thing, the law would take its course. “We are grateful to the people and media of Pakistan for their support to Turkey’s democracy,” he concluded.

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