Qatar’s support will never be forgotten

 15 Jul 2017 - 12:55

Turkey has left behind an extremely difficult year. On the night of July 15, 2016, a terrorist cult tried to stage a coup in Turkey, trying to depose the democratically elected government. The coup was organized by a clique within the Turkish armed forces linked to the Fetullahist Terrorist Organisation (FETO).

The perpetrators of this attempt fired on civilians, stabbed their commanders in the back and bombed the national parliament and the office of the presidency. They also attacked police stations with F-16s and military helicopters, killing dozens of security officers. Participants in the coup did not hesitate to fire on civilians from helicopters. They even tried to assassinate our President.

This heinous coup attempt was an act of treason targeted our national values, our democratic and economic achievements, and our foreign policy. It was the whole Turkish nation that rose up against this plot. Our fellow citizens showed historical resilience and solidarity as they went to the streets and took up the challenge. Soldiers who fired on innocent civilians had to lay down their weapons. The attempted coup had thus failed.

Tragically, 249 Turkish citizens perished during this campaign of terrorist violence including 179 innocent civilians who stood courageously before the tanks and demanded their democratic rights. More than 2,000 Turkish citizens were injured.

Today we commemorate once again with gratitude and compassion our martyrs that night and we respectfully bow to their memories. We will never forget those who have lost their lives for democracy and the salvation of our nation.

Our democracy was protected by the resistance of our citizens who had come together to oppose the putschists which will be told in the future generations. It is important to stress that all political parties of the Turkish Parliament were united in their condemnation for the failed coup attempt by issuing a joint declaration. The Turkish media also played a key role during the attempt by defending democracy.

As a country with rich heritage and immense civilization, our nation destroyed the heinous plot prepared by the insidious terrorist network for 40 years.

Turkish people, our ordinary heroes, joining together to protect democracy demonstrated once again that: “Sovereignty belongs unconditionally to the people!”

For a long time, we have been informing our partners and allies about FETO and how this terrorist organization has secretly infiltrated public institutions over the years. We also tell our friends that FETO is presented in 160 countries via its network of schools, companies, media centers and NGOs and that this is also a threat to these countries. The attempted terrorist coup attempt has left no doubt about their evil intent.

In view of the gravity of the situation on 15 July, the Turkish State had to take the necessary measures to ensure public order and security. The declaration of a state of emergency announced immediately after the attempt does not foresee either restricting the fundamental rights and freedoms of our citizens or compromising democracy or the rule of law. Our only aim is to act in a fastest and most effective way in the fight against the terrorist organization FETO. We aim to return to normalcy as soon as possible.

While noting that some countries had waited to until the coup attempt was absolutely failed, we also remember with gratitude, Qatar’s swift and resolute stance in supporting the democratically elected Government of Turkey during the coup attempt.

We have witnessed such a great solidarity from Qatar. Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was the first leader to call President Erdoğan and expressed support to our Government and Turkish people. The Emir, Father Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani , the Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and many Qatari Ministers visited Turkey and demonstrated Qatar’s absolute support. This support will never be forgotten.

The writer is Ambassador of Turkey to Qatar