Nation going through trauma: Turkish PM
AA photoThe Turkish nation is going through trauma in the aftermath of the unprecedented coup attempt that has shaken the entire county and left 208 people dead, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said, vowing once again that the perpetrators will pay heavily for their unlawful actions.
“Whether in the army or in the air force, all necessary measures are being taken. We have no doubts here. We are of course experiencing a big trauma as a nation … That is normal,” said Yıldırım after the weekly cabinet meeting.
The aftermath of the coup attempt has seen the arrest of thousands of senior military and civilian officials.
Yıldırım chaired the first cabinet meeting after a junta, thought to be loyal to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, staged a coup attempt on July 15, which was foiled in less than 24 hours.
Some 208 people were killed by coup attempting soldiers, including 60 police officers, three soldiers and 145 civilians, the prime minister said, also informing that some 1,491 people were also wounded. In addition, 24 plotters have been killed and another 50 were wounded in clashes, Yıldırım said.
PM thanks opposition, media, NGOs
The prime minister also thanked the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), as well as media outlets and NGOs, for their firm stance against the failed coup attempt.
“There are lots of institutions that we should thank. The CHP, MHP and HDP executives who got in contact with us said there must be no party calculations [in such a serious issue], they stood against this shameful attempt against the people and they were ready to give all kind of support to the government. We thank their respective chairmen,” said Yıldırım.
He also singled out the police department for standing against the plotters, the countries that have expressed their support for the government, and the judiciary for reacting swiftly in launching the necessary legal actions against them.
“Those who have been involved in this should know that we will demand the price of every drop of blood spilled. There will be no comfort for us if we do not settle these accounts. But while doing this we’ll keep within the boundaries of the rule of law,” Yıldırım stressed.
“Justice is a needed for everyone,” he added, vowing not to be “guided by emotions” while prosecuting those responsible.
Comparison to 1980 coup
Meanwhile, Yıldırım compared the coup attempt with the Sept 12, 1980 military coup, while recalling that there was an important difference between the two.
“Those who perpetrated the Sept. 12 coup did not bomb the citizens, did not open fire on them, and did not fire bombs at police stations, the parliament and the presidency,” he said.
He likened these actions on July 15 to incidents in Syria, as Bashar al-Assad’s army targeted its own people, while underlining that the entire Turkish army cannot be held responsible.
“We should distinguish the right from the wrong. Let’s deal with those who commit wrongs, but on the other hand let’s protect the credibility of our institutions. Because these institutions are our future,” Yıldırım stressed.
Day of unity
He also called on all citizens to stand united and leave aside their differences.
“Today is the day to be united. Our demand from all civil society, political parties, and citizens is to come together for the future of our children and of Turkey,” he said, calling on all citizens to continue hitting the streets to “protect democracy against coup plotters.”