Manila Times - - OPINION - Vu­ral Gök­taş Third Sec­re­tary Turk­ish Em­bassy Manila

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.

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