Turkey’s top soldier rules out subsequent coup attempt
AA PhotoSenior government officials and Turkey’s top soldier have all dismissed the possibility of a follow-up putsch attempt by the Gülenist movement on the grounds that the network has no potential to stage a coup.
“Such rumors will not cease. Rumors [of another coup attempt] are being brought to the agenda through different ways,” Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar told reporters on Oct. 1 on the sidelines of a reception to mark the beginning of the legislative year.
“But, personally, I don’t regard these rumors as possible. There is no such thing; they have no potential,” he added.
A group of high-ranking military officers attempted to seize power through a coup on July 15 by using the country’s ground, air and naval forces, resulting in the death of 241 people in the bloodiest putsch attempt in Turkey’s recent history. The Gülen movement has been blamed for the attempt, and thousands of its members and followers have been dismissed from their positions, including high-ranking generals and other military personnel.
However, there are still concerns that unrevealed members within the army could still try to stage a coup. Although Akar said he did not believe they had the capability of doing so, he also added that all speculation was being diligently assessed and probed.
Government officials echoed the chief of General Staff, saying they also did not see any possibility that such a coup would be successful, while reiterating the cabinet’s determination to pursue every member of the group.
“‘A new coup will occur, today or tomorrow.’ This is the propaganda spread by FETÖ [Fethullahist Terror Organization] team in order to create a disturbance in society,” Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said at a meeting organized by the youth branches of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Oct. 2.
“They say ‘It’s not over yet, we’ll be back.’ If you come again, you’ll see again,” he said, calling on the people not to fall into the trap of the movement’s “black propaganda.” “But that does not mean that we’ll go into a lull. We’ll be ready day and night. We’ll be ready with the AK Party’s youth.”
Defense Minister Fikri Işık also dismissed the chances of a new takeover. “I don’t regard a putsch as possible but there could always be some individual attempts.”
When asked whether he was referring to the possibility of assassination attempts, Işık said: “One or two persons. These kinds of things are always possible. But I don’t deem a second coup likely.”
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu vowed to take all measures against those who even think of staging another coup, saying: “We have a very good saying in Anatolia: We’ll hit their heads with a hammer! No one should worry about it. Our responsibility is to take all measures.”