AKP urges fight against global Gülenist threat
Serkan Demirtaş - ANKARA
AA photoThe Fethullah Gülen organization is a global threat that can stage coups anywhere in which it is well-organized, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has said following the July 15 coup attempt blamed on the group.
Three senior AKP officials, deputy leaders Mehdi Eker, who is responsible for foreign affairs, Cevdet Yılmaz, who handles media relations, and Yasin Aktay, who focuses on human rights, held a substantial meeting with members of the foreign press based in Ankara on Aug. 4 to further explain the roots of the Fethullah Gülen organization.
“We have a responsibility for humanity. We have experienced the bloodiest coup attempt. We simply want no country in the world to suffer from it,” Eker said, recalling that around 250 people had been killed by the plotters while parliament and other state premises were bombed by warplanes.
The Gülenist organization is as harmful to Islam and religious values as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Eker said. “Therefore, there is a need for a total struggle and universal fight against them. This is simply very important for all the peoples of the world, regardless of their faith.”
Yılmaz drew attention to the meaning of the Turkish people’s “total resistance” against the plotters on July 15, saying it opened a new chapter in Turkish democracy. “This will have a lasting effect on our democracy. This has strengthened our national unity. After this moment, Turkey has a very strong culture of political compromise,” he stated.
The role the Turkish media played during and after the coup attempt was heroic, the former economy minister said but expressed complaints that the foreign media had failed to realize this. “This is very negative that this heroic stance of all of the Turkish media was not recognized by the world media.”
Echoing Eker’s description of the “global threat” on Gülenists, Yılmaz said, “It should be well-known that those who attempt a coup in a country can try to repeat it in another country as well, especially if this is an organization that has direct links with the spy agencies of different countries.”
Anti-Western sentiments growing
Yılmaz highlighted the growing anti-Western, anti-American sentiments within Turkish society in the aftermath of the coup attempt, stressing that the United States could reverse this picture if it extradited Gülen to Turkey. “This will surely bring a more positive outlook toward the West in Turkey and introduce a better ground for Turkey-West ties,” he said.
Aktay also highlighted the Turkish people’s resistance that foiled the coup and described it as a “democratic people’s revolution” with the participation of different segments of society. The fact that the Turkish people stood against the coup as a whole has not been well-recognized by human rights associations that “seemingly prioritized” individual cases of alleged human rights violations during the legal procedures applied against coup plotters.
“They seem to focus on the few cases of violations at the expense of failing to see the real victims of the human rights violations during the coup attempt. As a matter of fact, these could have been seen even from London, if they had chosen to look at them,” Aktay said.