95 percent of Turkish people believe Gülen behind coup: Energy Minister
Serkan Demirtaş - ANKARA
REUTERS photoA senior Turkish government official has said that 95 percent of the Turkish public believes that Fethullah Gülen and his organization were behind the July 15 failed coup attempt, while calling on the United States to extradite a person who has already been convicted in the conscience of the Turkish people.
“We have been witnessing a very historical process since the first day of the coup attempt. According to a survey conducted by an independent organization, around 95-96 percent of the Turkish public opinion believes that FETÖ [the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization] was behind this very merciless coup attempt against the civil authority,” Energy Minister Berat Albayrak told a group of foreign reporters on July 27. “And in fact, the streets have already been portraying this. This picture shows that the entire Turkish population, regardless of their political views, is against this attempt that targeted its own will.”
Albayrak, son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was with the president and his family during the very critical hours of the July 15 coup attempt. In his meeting with the foreign press, he reflected his government’s disappointment with the Western world’s unsatisfying support to the Turkish government in the aftermath of the coup attempt.
“As a country that intends to continue its more than 60-year alliance with the West and 50-year relationship with the EU in a stronger way, I should say that Turkey is now at a different point. This relationship with the West has now turned into a process that will be closely followed by the Turkish public opinion as well,” Albayrak said. The Turkish people expected a friendlier and more strategic reply to the coup attempt, he stated, adding, “But this support has not been given in the way the Turkish people were expecting.”
The minister explained that Turkey expected Europe, the United States and other friendly countries as the cradle of democracy and freedoms “to have a clear position on our side, on the side of people’s democratic rights and on the side of people’s freedoms.”
“Up until today none of the statements were in this regard,” he said.
The coup attempt Turkey lived through was the cruelest in comparison to coup d’états of the past and all these cruelties, including the bombing of the parliament building and opening fire on civilians, were watched live on TV, the minister stressed.
‘All countries will turn unlivable’
The entire world and the Middle East in particular were passing through a traumatic process which aimed to terrorize the global climate, Albayrak said, calling on all allied countries to focus on draining the swamp through efficient cooperation instead of killing the flies. “I want to deliver this to our allies: If we don’t pursue a genuine alliance, not only one country but all countries will turn unlivable. Our allies should revise their relationship [with Turkey after the coup attempt process] in a rational and mindful way. Otherwise they would be deprived of the contribution of a country to the world’s security and freedom,” he said.
Gülen convicted in people’s conscience
On Turkey’s demand from the U.S. for the extradition of Gülen, Albayrak underlined that this process had now entered a new phase. “There are two aspects of it: Official and actual,” he stressed, informing that the official process would soon be finalized, as Turkey was sending two ministers to the U.S. to discuss this issue. “However,” he added, “In the actual state, what kind of emotional response will be given in the framework of strategic partnership to the demand of a person who has been already been convicted in the conscience of the 79 million people [of Turkey] is important.”
“We hope the U.S. will give a positive response to it,” he said.
‘I’ve known Gülenists for 30 years’
For Albayrak, the Gülenist organization was much more dangerous than other terror organizations like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). “I speak as a person who has known this organization for 30 years and who studied in their first grade school,” Albayrak stated, adding he came to the conclusion that this was a very risky and dangerous organization long ago.
“’Anything can be expected from this organization,’ I was telling my friends in the aftermath of Dec. 17-25  process,” he said. “For the last 40 years, their aim was to get control of the state through a systematic plan. When the right day comes [Gülen] was planning to press the button and get the control of the state and to come to Turkey like a hero, like a religious leader who succeeded a revolution,” he said.
Legal process democratic
On a question on violations of human rights in the legal processes of thousands of people detained since July 15, Albayrak underlined the need to look at the general picture instead of individual cases. “When looking from a general perspective, it can be said national and international standards are being applied in a very democratic process,” he said, adding suspects were using their right of defense along with other rights.