Necip Egüz, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Dublin
Regarding your article [editorial] titled “The birth of dictatorship”, I wish to clarify the following: A putsch was attempted by a small fraction of the armed forces and was stopped by the Turkish people from all segments of society with the support of the overwhelming majority of the armed forces and police that remained loyal to the people, the state and the democratically-elected government.
Plotters bombed various institutions including parliament and the premises of the presidency, fired at the people, devastated infrastructure and attempted to destroy the legal democratic regime.
Some 250 innocent citizens and security officials were murdered while around 2,000 were wounded as they hurled their bodies forward to resist the coup.
Initial investigations reveal that the putsch was attempted by militants loyal to the Fethullah Gülen Terror Organisation (FETO), who disguised themselves in state institutions.
The coup attempt showed that these militants, who infiltrated state institutions through questionable methods for decades, are an ominous threat to democracy. Following the attempt, political parties with divergent views, came together in the spirit of democracy and national unity to oppose this putsch.
Also, upon invitation of our president, the governing AK Party and the two main opposition parties came together and reached a consensus to make certain amendments to our constitution in solidarity and mutual understanding.
Turkey, in line with the rule of law and human rights, will take any legal measures necessary to eliminate the remnants of the FETO. Gulenists have been infiltrating state institutions since the 1970s, drawing ranks from disadvantaged segments of society and offering free education and boarding to potential members.
Recruits were indoctrinated at early ages. Members were planted in critical state structures, examination questions for entry to military schools, faculties, academies and institutions were obtained enabling further infiltration.
Militants already in state structures ensured younger members were looked after and fast-tracked in promotions while obtaining critical duties to further weed out regular citizens through intimidation, slander and even murder.
Gulen brought charges against regular army personnel, civil servants, academics, intellectuals and journalists in the so called “Ergenekon and Sledgehammer” cases between 2007-2014 when hundreds of qualified professionals were purged with fabricated evidence by order of judges loyal to the movement.
To prevent the recurrence of such a coup attempt, it was deemed necessary to declare a state of emergency for three months, as is the case in France following the heinous IS attacks in that country.
The state of emergency will be implemented in full compliance with relevant international obligations and strictly within the constitution and judicial system. Turkey succeeded in stopping an existential threat not only to itself but to the stability of the wider region.
It is under these extraordinary circumstances that a consensus to defend and advance our rights rising from a hard-earned tradition of free and fair democratic processes has been galvanised across the political spectrum in Turkey, negating the validity and reliability of any claims of unjust post-coup purges and authoritarianism.
Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Dublin.