No doubt that Gülen was behind Turkey’s coup attempt: Former Swedish PM Bildt
AA photoThere is no doubt that U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen and his movement were at the center of the failed coup attempt of July 15, former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt has said during a European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) delegation visit to Ankara.
“When I saw the coup attempt on television, the first suspect that came to my mind regarding who could have done this was Gülen. Developments since that day have clearly revealed that Gülen and the organization he leads were at the center of this attempt,” Bildt was quoted as saying by state-run Anadolu Agency.
“In my talks both in Turkey and with foreign experts following Turkey, I saw that nobody has any doubt that Gülen was at the center of the coup attempt,” he said.
Earlier, Bildt had also noted on Twitter that the delegation had not encountered a single person who doubted Gülen’s involvement in the coup attempt.
“We have not met a single either Turkish or foreign expert or observer who doubts that the Gülen group was the driving core of the coup,” he tweeted.
The former Swedish premier also stressed that he had long been aware of the activities of the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) within the military, the police and judicial system but never expected a coup attempt.
In his speech at a special reception hosted by the Aydın Doğan Foundation on Aug. 31, Bildt said the aim of the ECFR visit was to “strengthen the Turkey-EU bridge” and develop mutual understanding on both sides.
“[The coup attempt] created a deep shock effect on all of us. Resisting to defend the constitution and the democracy was more important than anything. With the efforts of the Turkish people and especially the efforts of those killed, the coup was defeated. We should do all we can to consider this an opportunity for Turkey to strengthen its democracy in the coming years,” he added.
Speaking at an interview with Hürriyet before the delegation’s visit, Bildt had said the European Union made a mistake by not showing sufficient empathy with Ankara immediately after the coup attempt.