On 15 July 2020, Turkey commemorates the 4th anniversary of the heinous coup attempt, orchestrated by Fetullah Gülen, the leader of the terrorist organization FETÖ.
Led by Fethullah Gülen, a reclose cleric living in the USA since 1999, this shadowy cult had over the years infiltrated government structures. Their aim was to take over the Turkish state and its democratically elected government. They had focused their efforts in a number of key institutions including the judiciary, law enforcement, and the military.
Once their agenda became known by the end of 2013, the government started a campaign to eliminate their influence. As they were totally losing their hold on Turkey’s state structures, FETO’s reaction took the form of a coup attempt on the night of 15 July 2016.
The Turkish public remains horrified by the audacity of their attempt, which used lethal military force against innocent civilians, killing 251 and wounding thousands.
Perhaps the most symbolic of the actions they took that night was the bombing of the National Parliament, an ostentatious attempt to confiscate the will of the people, as well as the Presidential complex and the police headquarters.
However, 15 July also marks the anniversary of how the Turkish people refused to submit to this attempt and instead fought for their freedom and democracy. We honor the memories of those who lost their lives on that night, while being grateful that our democracy proved resilient.
However, the coup attempt continues to be etched in the Turkish psyche. This ill-fated plan went against all the ideals pursued by the Turkish people to cement democratic practices. This is why the fight against FETO remains a major priority for Turkey.
Fighting terrorism requires solidarity, cooperation, and understanding. These become all the more stronger when done collectively. Turkey believes the solidarity of its friends in the international community is essential to overcoming such threats, on the national, regional and international levels.
Yaprak Alp is Ambassador of Turkey in Ethiopia