The Article By Ambassador Meriç
The article byAmbassador Meriç is presented as follows.
Turkey is undergoing a very sensitive, historic period since the coup attempt in the late hours of July 15, 2016. Turkey has unfortunately witnessed several military coups before, in its political history. However, none of the previous ones were this much brutal and bloody.
On July 15, some renegade officers in the Turkish Armed Forces staged the coup attempt mainly in the two largest cities of Turkey, Istanbul and Ankara. They also conspired to murder our President, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who was having a holiday in the Aegean coastal town of Marmaris. Needless to say, the putschists targeted at Turkey’s democracy and its constitutional order.
Following the call of the President, millions of people, citizens of every walk of life took to streets with Turkish flags, stood bravely against tanks and indiscriminate fire. I am sure, the photography of a young gentlemen lying just in front of a huge tank’s pallete, will become a classical commemorative item, reflecting not only the resolution of the Turkish people for democracy but also the savagery of the night. Apart from the innocent people, the putschists also targeted mercilessly at every democratic institution of Turkey, first and foremost the Grand National Assembly.
The bloody coup attempt which cost more than 240 lives brought the world’s attention to the group that the Turkish Government has long been arguing a threat for Turkish democracy: the Islamist community led by Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish cleric who is living in Pennsylvania since the late 1990’s.
Although Mr. Gulen and his followers deny the charges. There are strong evidences that the Gulenist network (FETO) is behind the coup attempt.
In the last four decades the Gulen community has developed a worldwide network on the epicenter of the one man, Fethulah Gulen. Before the eyes of his adherents he is not only an eloquent, learned cleric but also a Mehdi who will save the Muslim world. The community is lightly bound on a very strict hierarchical order: Orders are given from the top to the second and third level imams and ultimately to the grass-roots. Community members are compartmentalized in cell structures and they carry out their activities under the leadership of their imams. They try to keep as much as possible their affiliation to the community secret.
In the forefront, their activities seem peaceful, innocent and philanthropic. They open international schools worldwide, organize charities for social services to the poor and maintain “dialogue centers” which preach inter-cultural, inter-religion harmony, tolerance and peace. However, the movement also has backstage activities, particularly in Turkey. For decades they have been infiltrating in Turkey’s state institutions, especially the critical ones like the police, judiciary and the military. Hiding their identities and taking orders from their imams, rather than their institutional superiors, the Gulenist aim to capture gradually the state-power. Their final purpose is to overthrow the democratic, secular regime in Turkey and to reach out to the other corners of the Muslim World over Turkey.
The previous Turkish governments as well as the present one had a positive approach to the activities of the movement until they discovered the back stage. Especially, the failed coup has displayed very clearly the complete network as well as their hidden agenda.
Nowadays, there is criticism in the international media that thousands of people are purged in order to solidify our President’s so-called authoritarian rule. This is not true. In fact, what is taking place in Turkey is rooting out the clandestine Gulenist network from state institutions.
Turkish Government has been constantly exposing the real motives of this terrorist group and its leader, Fethullah Gulen, to all our friends. The foiled coup is the latest criminal act revealing the danger posed by the Fethullah Terrorist Organization, not only to Turkey but also to already volatile Middle East region. In this regard, we call all our friends including Japan, where FETO has been active with various establishments including schools, companies and charity institutions to take all possible measures to prevent the activities of this organization in their soil.
The relations between Japan and Turkey are based on a solid foundation of friendship. I am sure that Japan will not spare its solidarity at this time when Turkey needs it most.
A. Bulent Meric
Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey
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