The Article Of Ambassador Adnan Başağa, On The Occasion Of The First Anniversary Of The Thwarted Coup Attempt Of July 15,2016

Helsinki Büyükelçiliği 16.07.2017


Turkey is still struggling to overcome the trauma of this existential threat to our country. It is impossible to find the appropriate terms to describe the brutality and treachery that the putschists displayed that night. It was the worst act of terror in the history of the Turkish Republic. At the first sightings of fighter jets flying over Ankara and Istanbul people recognized that there was something amiss. In the ensuing hours, this feeling was intensified by the horrifying realization that it was beyond a military coup d’état and that the perpetrators of this hideous undertaking actually consisted of the disciples of Fetullah Gülen, the man who calls himself “Imam of the Universe”. That night, lethal military hardware was used against innocent civilians who took to the streets to defend their democratic institutions and through the night 250 Turkish citizens lost their lives while more than 2000 were wounded.

July 15 was a trial of strength and perseverance for the Turkish democracy and the State. It makes us proud to have passed this test. All the political parties, both in government and in opposition, the uninfected elements of the Armed Forces, the Police Force and the media stood up against the putschists. Above all, it was the people of Turkey from all backgrounds and political views who resisted and displayed a historic example of solidarity as they stood selflessly in front of the tanks and reclaimed their democratic rights.

Today we proudly stand united in commemorating the resistance of the Turkish nation to preserve democracy in their country and remember in deep respect the martyrs and heroes of that night.

Now, after a year of extensive administrative, criminal and judicial investigations we have a better grasp of what happened on July 15 and the perpetrator that was behind it. There are 78 ongoing court cases in 23 different provinces with regard to the perpetrators. Prosecutors have gathered crucial evidence pointing to the unmistakable imprint of FETÖ behind the coup attempt. During the last year, criminal activities of FETÖ have also been investigated in more than a thousand different court cases, bringing to surface the darker undertakings of the organization.

State of Emergency, which was declared immediately after the foiled terrorist coup attempt and extended until mid-July 2017 in full conformity with our national legislation and international obligations, was necessary to make the state organs act swiftly and effectively.

Domestic administrative and judicial remedies exist for reviewing measures for those who claim they have been wrongfully suspected. To date, over 300 institutions that were shut down have been reopened. More than 30 thousand public employees have been reinstated through administrative boards of review. We also continue our cooperation in a spirit of constructive dialogue with relevant international mechanisms, including the Council of Europe, UN and the OSCE. Taking also into consideration the recommendations of the Council of Europe, an Inquiry Commission has been established to address the measures taken through Emergency decrees. The Inquiry Commission has also been recognized by the European Court of Human Rights as a domestic legal remedy.

We are determined to fight FETÖ and also the most dangerous terrorist organizations such as the PKK and DAESH by respecting the rule of law, morality, and democracy.

In these critical times, we need support and encouragement from our friends.

Adnan Başağa
Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Helsinki”


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