Nepal | August 06, 2020

Turkey remembers the failed coup attempt on its democracy four years ago

Sakir Ozkan Torunlar
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Kathmandu, July 14

On July 15, the entire Turkish nation, together with her friends around the globe, will remember the incident wherein a coup was attempted on the night of July 15, 2016. The day is etched in our memories as one of the darkest nights faced by of the Republic of Turkey, since 1923.

On that evening, a group of terrorists who, over a span of 30 years, had infiltrated into the armed forces of the country and climbed the ranks up to general and admiral, tried to topple a democratically elected government.

To achieve their goal, the FETO (Fetullahist Terrorist Organisation) members in uniforms, upon the instructions they received from their leader Fetullah Gulen (who calls himself the Imam of the Universe), residing in the US — which has been provided him a shelter since 1999 — had bombed the national parliament in Ankara, as well as the presidential compound, the headquarters of the armed forces, and the bases of the police and the intelligence.

They even attempted to abduct and assassinate the democratically elected president of the country, along with his family members. Further, FETO terrorists killed 251 innocent men as women and children who rushed into the streets to save themselves, ultimately wounding over 2000 people.

Overall, the coup attempt, which was eventually thwarted, lasted less than 12 hours. Brave people of the country successfully stopped those who hijacked the fighter jets from the air force, tanks from the army and boats from the navy. The Turkish nation paid a huge price to save and secure the democracy which was achieved after much hardship.

In the days following the mutiny, the Turkish people came to realise who were on their side, to protect their interests, and who were not. The “democracy lovers of the West” who never miss any opportunity to teach others how a democratic system should function, kept mum for weeks until the day they became aware of the results of the Turkish nation’s resistance against the coup which was ‘masterminded’ somewhere in the western coast of the Atlantic. The media in these countries did not act any different than their governments.

It was known that the leader of the FETO had directed his followers to infiltrate all state organs, including the police, the armed forces and the academia. The mutineers constituted a typical hopeless case of radicalisation by a cult of personality. They believed that the leader was the “Messiah” and they themselves were the members of a “golden generation”. “Move through the arteries of the system without anyone noticing your existence” was the instruction given to them.

To sum up, it is a new generation terrorist organisation that is based on hypocrisy, concealment and secrecy. Confronting such a dark, sinister and clandestine structure is not easy.

The day — July 15 2016 — was a trial of strength and perseverance for the Turkish democracy and the State. Resistance of the nation was ‘legedary’, to say the least. Today, Turkey is much more stronger than ever. It is a country which is admired by the people in her neighboorhood who are ruled by totaliarian regimes.

FETO was and still is not a civic movement as its followers and the governments behind it try hard to portray. It is a malicious global enterprise, present and active in more than 160 countries around the world, through schools, NGOs, companies and media outlets.

What happened in Turkey on July 15, 2016 should be a reminder to all the countries who believe that it is an innocent one and until and unless proven by hard evidence. Once it is proven it may be too late for democracies.

H.E. Sakir Ozkan Torunlar is the Ambassador of Turkey to Nepal


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