Thwarted Turkey coup attempt last year | Sunday Observer

Thwarted Turkey coup attempt last year

Supporters of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, protest in Istanbul’s Taksim Square  on July 16, 2016. AP Photo
Supporters of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, protest in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on July 16, 2016. AP Photo

Turkey’s experience should be an example to all democracies, says Ambassador Özçuhadar

Factions of the Turkish opposition movement may be carrying out operations in Sri Lanka, it was revealed on Friday. “Investigations uncovered Gülen-affiliated schools and establishments even in Sri Lanka... ,”said Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Turkey, Tunca Özçuhadar. He was speaking to the media, at a briefing to mark the thwarted coup attempt in Turkey last year (2016).

Turkey saw the most violent attempt in its 95-year political history to usurp power on 15th July, 2016. Overnight, 250 people were dead and over 2,000 lay injured.

The coup lead by a group called Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO) saw a faction of Turkish armed forces attacking critical strongholds in Ankara, the capital city attempting to assassinate Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and capturing the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet.

Soldiers blocked traffic at the Bosphorus Bridge the main artery of Istanbul, Turkey’s economic, cultural and historic centre. They struck the presidential compound, the parliament, Armed Forces and Intelligence Service head quarters and satellite communication centres. While armed tankers rolled into the streets and war planes soared to the sky, people were ordered to stay off the streets.

However, an appeal from President Erdogan to stand for democracy drew people in their thousands to the streets, defying the orders of the dissident military faction. People’s power and the resistance of the loyal armed force elements resulted in foiling the attempt to topple the government.

“Within a day, the Turkish Police and Intelligence Services managed to apprehend the key conspirators, thereby effectively crippling the coup attempt. The situation was brought back to normalcy within a couple of days,” Özçuhadar said.

“What happened in Turkey should be an example to all democracies in the world,” warned Özçuhadar comparing the unsuccessful coup to a modern ‘Trojan Horse’. “The only difference between ancient Troy and modern Turkey is that the attackers were not foreign; they were brainwashed citizens of Turkey,” he said.

FETO’s roots are in religion and culture, beginning as the Gülen Movement, a faith-inspired’ movement founded Fetullah Gülen, living in self-exile in Pennsylvania, USA since 1999. Its members are called ‘Gülenists’ pledging their loyalty to Gülen. With the modus-operandi of using legal means and institutions as a cover to achieve illegal objectives, it carries out its operations through the ‘parallel state structure’ comprising civil servants, military and police officers within the state. It has now become a global movement, brainwashing its members through around 1,000 schools and educational institutes worldwide.

It acquires funds by exploiting “the religious and charitable feelings of the public.” Ongoing investigations had revealed that while FETO holding in Turkey is worth over 10 billion USD it had directed approximately 20 billion USD to other countries.

In addition to becoming increasingly anti-democratic, “FETO became a global enterprise that owned numerous commercial buildings, banks, media outlets, NGOs, and movie companies in more than 150 countries. Investigations uncovered Gülen-affiliated schools and business establishments even in Sri Lanka.”