Count us out of Turkey’s coup – Hizmet • We have evidence against you - Govt
Nigerian based members of Turkey’s Hizmet Movement, an informal group that promotes moderate Islam and development of poor countries, have denied any involvement in the botched military coup in Turkey last week.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday, the president of Ufuk Dialogue Foundation, an arm of the movement, Kamil Kemancil, said Hizmet strongly condemned military intervention in the county’s democracy, describing it as an act of aggression and injustice.
“We have no hand in the failed coup,” he said, noting that the blame on the movement was very irresponsible.
“We have always supported the development of Turkey’s democracy despite the increasing antidemocratic practices in recent years,” he said.
According to him, the worst administration is better than a military coup. He reiterated that there is no place for military intervention in democracy.
Kemancil quoted the leader of the movement, Fethullah Gülen, as saying: “As someone who suffered under multiple military coups during the past five decades, it is especially insulting to be accused of having any link to such an attempt. I categorically deny such accusation,” he added.
However, the Turkish government, through its embassy in Nigeria, yesterday said it had “solid proof” that the coup attempt was staged by the movement.
The Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Hakan Cakil, said at a media briefing in Abuja yesterday that the country’s intelligence agency had been gathering evidence to support the claim.
The report, he said, would soon be made public.
“Our government has been constantly exposing the real motives of this terrorist group and its leader, Fethullah Gülen, to all allies and partners. The foiled coup is the latest criminal act revealing the dangers posed by FETÖ. We call all our partners and allies to take all possible measures to prevent the activities of this group in their soil,” he said.
The envoy also denied media reports that the botched coup was stage-managed by the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying main aim was to dislodge the government and the country’s democracy.
Cakil also debunked claims that Turks who thwarted the coup only did so to protect the country’s democracy and not the president.
“It is our duty to protect our president who symbolises democracy. To protect the president means to protect democracy. He was elected through democratic process,” he said.
The government in Ankara yesterday vowed to root out allies of the USbased cleric, widening a purge of the army, police and judiciary to universities and schools, the intelligence agency and religious authorities. President Erdogan has also pushed for enactment of the death penalty.