Tukey’s Mission to OIC commemorates victims of July 15 failed coup attempt

On 15 July 2018, marking the second anniversary of the military coup in Turkey, the Turkish Mission to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) commemorated those who lost their lives in the failed bid, with the attendance of representatives of the OIC General Secretariat, diplomatic missions accredited to Saudi Arabia, as well as officials and members of the Turkish community in the Kingdom.

The following is the full text of the statement delivered by Turkish Permanent Representative to the OIC Ambassador Salih Mutlu Sen, on the commemoration of the attempted coup on 15 July 2016.

On the ominous night of 15 July 2016, disciples of Fetullah Gulen, the leader of the Gulenist Terror Group (FETO), who had infiltrated into Turkish military, attempted to overthrow the democratically elected government and assassinate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

They didn't hesitate to open fire on crowds killing 251 citizens and wounding thousands and to mount air strikes on various targets including the Turkish Grand National Assembly, the Presidential Compound, headquarters of Turkish Police and National Intelligence," he said in a press statement on Sunday, as Turkey commemorates the victims of 15 July 2016 coup attempt.

Unaware of the new social dynamics of the Turkish society, the campaign of terror waged by the members of FETO was stopped by the unbreakable will of the nation. At a rare historic moment, hundreds of thousands of citizens from various ages, political views and segments of the society poured out into the streets and stood firmly by the democratic and constitutional order. They stood as one and reclaimed their democracy.

The foiled terrorist coup attempt, not only displayed the commitment of the nation to the democracy and its determination to protect it at all costs, but also revealed the facts beneath this terrorist organization, which had been trying to portray itself as a civic movement.

Establishing a secret and heinous network within the bureaucracy, media and business, FETO eventually wanted to capture the control of the Turkish Republic. Bearing no resemblance to conventional terrorist organizations, members of FETO had infiltrated all critical state organs, including the police, the military and the judiciary over a period of four decades. Moreover, portraying itself as a charitable education effort, they had quickly spread over 160 countries and replicated their networking in Turkey.

When the Turkish Government finally found of what was actually taking place, FETO started taking destructive and violent actions. The first wave of these actions came in December 2013, where the organization released a number of so-called recordings and fabricated material. However, that attack proved inconclusive and provided the wake-up call both to the government and to the public.

Particularly, upon discovering their secret communication systems and interception of instructions, Turkish security and intelligence authorities started to counter their moves and discover the extent of the infiltration.

15 July happened at a time when the Turkish armed forces had detected most of the so-called military personnel, who were actually recruits of the organization. The coup attempt was a violent and desperate move to keep their control in place and capture the state which they were aiming to do through infiltration, since its establishment.

Two years long investigations after the coup attempt have now produced countless crucial evidence. Revealing the extent of the outreach of FETO in the bureaucracy, these evidences include the direct communication between the FETO leadership and the plotters on 15 July, data acquired from the encrypted communication application of FETO, involvement of FETO members in seven different exam frauds and confessions of the captured secret imams of FETO in the police and the military.

To ensure an effective and delicate conduct of interrogations, the state of emergency is declared in full conformity with national legislation and international obligations. Aware of the unconventional and unprecedented structure and tactics of FETO and the threat it posed, the Turkish Government steadfastly took thorough measures to eliminate the profound social trauma it brought about.

These interrogations indicate that the crimes committed on the night of 15 July can only be considered as the tip of the iceberg. Having been ordered to stay hidden and infiltrate the state institutions, the members were also told to eschew all ethical, religious of personal beliefs where necessary. Their detection and prosecution are of paramount importance to prevent further attempts by FETO.

It should also be kept in mind that, with a global network of schools, NGOs, companies, media outlets in 160 countries, FETO still poses a threat for the stability and democratic order of all countries. They disguised themselves as a benign education movement, when they started the campaign of establishing schools in Turkey and later around the world. But, we now understand that this was the first step in an infiltration campaign. Their actions in Turkey should be considered as a wake-up call for all friendly and brotherly countries.

We are pleased to note ever-increasing awareness on the part of other countries regarding the security threat posed by FETO. Several Western countries who had initially hesitated to act against FETO, now realized the truth unmasked. In many countries, FETO schools and other entities have been put under state control.

To thoroughly deal with this menace and, particularly to prevent their harboring in various countries and organizing new plans thereat, a firm global cooperation is imperative. Our call for such a cooperation is valid and more critical as FETO is on the brink of collapse and may resort to new desperate attempts.

15 July, soon after, was declared by the government as Democracy and National Unity Day in Turkey. The rise of a nation to struggle for its destiny will, thus, never be forgotten and commemorated by the next generations. That day, a new and unprecedented challenge to democracy was successfully and exemplarily defeated in front of the eyes of the world. Therefore, it would also be remembered as the glorious day of democracy in Turkey's history.

Under the leadership of President Erdogan, the Turkish people, by sacrificing their lives and blood, have saved their country from an impending calamity and chaos caused by FETO. This historical gallantry of Turkish people has also ensured the establishment of true and lasting democracy firmly rooted in national will

Source: International Islamic News Agency