The Turkish Embassy in Ghana commemorates the anniversary of the coup attempt of July 15, 2016

“Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the thwarted coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which took place in Turkey. July 15 was not a typical military putsch. The perpetrators of this hideous undertaking consisted of the disciples of Fetullah Gülen, the man who calls himself “Imam of the Universe”.”

This was according to a release by the Turkish Ambassador to Ghana, Madam Nesrin Bayazit, at a press conference convened by the Embassy at Accra to commemorate the sad event. She said that Turkey was also using the commemoration to remember those who lost their lives, as well as those who were injured.

Madam Bayazit told the journalists gathered at the press conference that her government has gathered a good stack of evidence linking the Turkish Preacher, Fetullah Gülen, to the FETÖ (Fetullah Gülen Terrorist Organization), the organization being accused of perpetrating the coup attempt. FETÖ is usually described as an Islamic transnational religious and social movement led by the Turkish preacher. However, Gülen has been insisting he has no link with the terrorists.

“They (FETÖ) also excelled in concealing their affiliation with him (Gülen), so that they can penetrate all circles without raising suspicion. In other words, FETÖ (Fetullah Gülen Terrorist Organization) is a new generation of terrorist organization that is based on hypocrisy, concealment and secrecy,” Madam Bayazit said.

She also said that her government, as much as they want to be firm in dealing with the matter so that there will not be a recurrence in future, they also have a measure to clear those who say they have been wrongly accused.

“Turkey is determined to fight FETÖ with three elements that they despise most: rule of law, morality, and democracy,” she assured.

Clearly, Turkey seems to have a handful with an organisation that is said to have tentacles in several countries.

“FETÖ is present in more than 150 countries around the world, through schools, NGOs, lobbyists, media outlets and companies, including Ghana,” Madam Bayazit informed the journalists and said that they were also using the occasion of the commemoration to alert the 150 countries of the potential danger in association with the FETÖ organisation.

Below is the full text of the press release:

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the thwarted coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which took place in Turkey. July 15 was not a typical military putsch. The perpetrators of this hideous undertaking consisted of the disciples of Fetullah Gülen, the man who calls himself “Imam of the Universe”.

They used lethal military hardware against innocent civilians who took to the streets to defend their democratic institutions, and also attempted to assassinate H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey and H.E. Binali Yıldırım, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey.  250 people lost their lives and more than 2.000 people were wounded as a result of this treacherous act.

July 15 was a trial of strength and perseverance for the Turkish democracy and the State. Above all, it was the people of Turkey from different backgrounds and political views who resisted and displayed a historic example of solidarity as they stood selflessly in front of the tanks and reclaimed their democratic rights.

Fetullah Gülen’s desire to take control of the Turkish State and to reinstitute the regime according to his perverted religious ethos was no secret in Turkey. For decades he directed his followers to infiltrate all critical state organs, such as the police, the judiciary and the armed forces. These so-called “Gülenists” 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. They do not hesitate to 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, FETÖ (Fetullah Gülen Terrorist Organization) is a new generation of terrorist organization that is based on hypocrisy, concealment and secrecy.

As a matter of fact, the Turkish Government had already taken action against this mafia-like cultish organization and its financial resources before July 15. The decision to shut down prep-schools was a huge blow against this structure, since these schools were the main recruitment centers and a major financial source for FETÖ. It was followed by a series of administrative and judicial investigations into the criminal aspects of the organization, including their large-scale cheatings at the admission tests for public institutions, illegal wiretappings, money laundering operations, and many others. FETÖ was about to lose its power in Turkey. Attempting to capture the state by their disciples disguised as army officers and non-commissioned officers was their last chance to survive.

After a year of extensive administrative, criminal and judicial investigations, there is a better grasp of what happened on July 15 and the perpetrator that was behind it. Prosecutors have gathered crucial evidence pointing to the unmistakable imprint of FETÖ behind the coup attempt.

Turkey is determined to fight FETÖ with three elements that they despise most: rule of law, morality, and democracy. Turkey at the same time fights against the most notorious terrorist organizations simultaneously: PKK and DAESH.

Confronting a dark, sinister and clandestine structure such as FETÖ, together with the other terrorist organizations is very demanding. The Turkish Government rightfully takes all necessary and proportionate measures to suppress and eventually defeat this threat. State of Emergency, which was declared immediately after the foiled terrorist coup attempt in full conformity with national legislation and international obligations, was necessary to facilitate the state organs to act swiftly and effectively. It is not intended to intervene with the daily lives of citizens.

Utmost attention is paid for keeping the right balance between freedoms and security needs. As always, Turkey’s international obligations are observed. Additionally, domestic administrative and judicial remedies exist for reviewing measures for those who claim they have been wrongfully suspected. Through the administrative boards of review, around 34 thousand public employees have been reinstated to date. Over 345 institutions have also been reopened (including 187 associations, 21 foundations, 93 private education institutions, 6 radio-TV channels, 17 newspapers and 1 private health institution). An Inquiry Commission has also been established to address the measures taken through Emergency Decrees. This Commission is entitled to take binding decisions with due process.  Its decisions are also subject to judicial scrutiny.

Consequently, the portrayal of the steps taken with the Emergency Decrees as “purge” of public servants does not reflect the actual situation. These steps have become a must, and based on legislation.

FETÖ is not a benign civic education movement as some circles try hard to portray. It would be a huge mischaracterization to think of Gülen merely as a peaceful Islamic scholar and preacher. His disciples in the armed forces waged a campaign of terror on the night of July 15 and Gülen’s role in it deserves attention.

FETÖ is present in more than 150 countries around the world, through schools, NGOs, lobbyists, media outlets and companies, including Ghana. What happened in Turkey one year ago is a reminder of what this organization may be capable of doing in other countries. Each and every country with FETÖ affiliated institutions must be vigilant against their activities.

GB&F

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