Turkey ‘has right to fight against coup soldiers’
Serkan Demirtaş - BRUSSELS
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said Turkey has the right to fight against the organizers of the 2016 coup attempt, adding that the country has a professional army with dedicated officers.
“The failed coup attempt was a brutal attack against democratic institutions in Turkey,” the secretary general said, recalling he had condemned the attempt and expressed solidarity with the Turkish government during that night.
It is known that some officers and some elements of the Turkish army participated to the coup attempt, as F-16s had bombed the parliament and some officers had kidnapped the Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, Stoltenberg recalled.
“So, there were elements of the army that participated in the coup. But, at the same time, I know that despite the fact some elements participated in the coup attempt, Turkey has a professional army with professional soldiers and dedicated officers,” he said.
“I see them in NATO operations. I also see what Turkey is able to do when it comes to participating in NATO operations and missions,” said Stoltenberg.
On the question of who might be behind the coup attempt, Stoltenberg said it was not his place to discuss it because it is now a judicial matter.
“It is not up to the NATO secretary general to take responsibility for the investigation or any kind of judicial process. Turkey has the right to prosecute those who are behind the coup, based on the rule of law and the independent judiciary,” said the secretary general.