WITH reference to the article entitled “Militant movement seeks to restore Muslim world governed by holy law” by Juan T. Gatbonton and published by your newspaper on July 10, 2017, we would like to clarify the following regarding the foiled coup attempt on July 15, 2016 in Turkey as the author erroneously claims that “the whos, whys and wherefores of the failed Istanbul coup of July 2016 remain largely unknown” and further alleges that “the venture seems to have involved Ataturk’s ideological heirs in the Turkish officer corps”.
Firstly, the coup attempt did not take place only in Istanbul, but the plotters were active in several other major cities in Turkey. Therefore, it is inaccurate to label what happened on July 15, 2016 as “Istanbul coup”.
Secondly, contrary to the author’s claim, the perpetrators of the coup attempt are well-known. The treacherous and bloody coup attempt was perpetrated by the disciples of the Fetullah Gülen Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) within the Armed Forces and other institutions with the objective of toppling and illegally replacing the democratically elected, legitimate government of the Republic of Turkey.
The adherents of FETÖ in various government institutions, who have set up a sort of parallel state within the legitimate State by taking up positions in the public sector, forming alliances and secret communication channels as well as employing, whenever necessary, illegal tactics to eliminate their opponents, planned and executed this treacherous act of tenor and violence against the legitimate State order which cost the lives of 250 Turkish citizens and injured more than 2,000.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is the founder of the Turkish Republic and our national hero. He has laid down the secular, democratic and legal foundations of the Republic of Turkey. It is, therefore, not acceptable to associate his name with this treacherous act of terror committed by the disciples of Fetullah Gülen.
The foiled coup was perpetrated by certain non-secular elements within the Armed Forces whose loyalty lies not with the country and the Turkish people but with Fetullah Gülen. It was a traitorous act outside the hierarchical command of the Turkish Armed Forces which have always been loyal and committed to the Republic of Turkey and its people. Thus, any insinuation that the bloody coup attempt was executed by “Atatürk’s ideological heirs in the Turkish officer corps” is likewise unacceptable.
Furthermore, the author’s allegation that “In the coup’s aftermath, the ruling AKP Party seems intent on restoring Islam’s preeminent public role in a new Constitution. Turkish muezzins are now allowed to make melodious Arabic call to a prayer” likewise contains a factual error. The current Turkish government is committed to the constitutional establishment of the Turkish State based on secular and democratic principles just like its predecessors. On the other hand, Islamic call to prayer was recited in Turkey in its Turkish translation solely between 1932 and 1950. Since then, it has been regularly recited in its original Arabic form. Thus, Arabic recitation of “ezan” (call to prayer) in Turkey has not been reinstated recently.
It is our sincere hope that the foregoing brief information will clarify the facts and rectify any misconceptions with respect to Turkey, the July 15 coup attempt and its perpetrator, FETÖ.
Turkish Embassy Manila