US Muslims Told About July 15 Gülenist Coup Attempt And Response

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A delegation from Turkey attended the Islamic Society of North America’s (ISNA) 53rd annual conference in Chicago and made a presentation about what happened on July 15, and what followed the attempted coup.

Prior to the panel session, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş, who led the Turkish delegation at the ISNA Conference, gathered with American Muslims.During the meeting, Kurtulmuş stated that Islamic civilization faces two important threats – DAESH and Islamophobia – which aim to divide and corner Muslims all over the world.

He said Turkey is fighting against DAESH and the PKK along with the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), which is a cult that threatens not only Turkey’s national security but all countries including the U.S.

The delegation members included the Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) Istanbul Deputy Ravza Kavakçı Kan, a consultant at the Presidency, Tuba Nur Sönmez, Prime Ministry Public Diplomacy Coordinator Ali Osman Öztürk, Daily Sabah Op-Ed editor Meryem İlayda Atlas and the Research Director at the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) at Washington DC and Daily Sabah columnist Kılıç Buğra Kanat. The members attended a panel session dedicated to the Turkish delegation. The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) Executive Director in Los Angeles Hussam Ayloush also participated in the event, which was chaired by SETA researcher Ahmet Selim Tekelioğlu, as guest speaker.


AK Party deputy Kan claimed that the July 15 coup attempt has not yet been understood by Americans. “Imagine for a second a military coup attempt taking place on this soil (the U.S.). What would have happened?,” he said. Stressing that the coup attempt is not something that can be accepted, Kan said the Turkish nation made history by standing against the coup plotters, risking their lives to protect their country. “This coup attempt not only targeted the AK Party but the entire Turkish nation and democracy,” Kan said, adding FETÖ poses a threat to the U.S. as well. Stating that the putschists tried to divide the Turkish nation, Kan concluded by assuring that the Turkish nation was more strongly guided than the coup plotters.

Presidency consultant Sönmez began her speech by offering detailed information about the coup attempted and said that the West has not yet reacted as it should. Stressing the importance of democracy, Sönmez claimed that Western countries have supported putschist governments and the concepts of democracy, stability and order have been worn out due to these coups.

Diplomacy coordinator Öztürk pointed out that Turkey is located where terrorist actions are widespread, adding that Turkey is fighting against various terror groups such as DAESH, the PKK and FETÖ. Stating that Turkey is trying hard to protect political stability in a place where chaos is always a key element, Öztürk draw attention to the increasing numbers of terror attacks orchestrated by DAESH and the PKK.

Also speaking at the panel session, Daily Sabah opinion editor Atlas put emphasis on the historic responsibility that Turkey has taken on its shoulders by opening its borders to innocent civilians who were seeking refuge after fleeing from violence and war. Atlas said Turkey is sheltering 3 million Syrian refugees and pointed to the border province of Kilis as it welcomed in 130,000 refugees despite its local population of just 90,000. She said roughly 150,000 Syrian babies have been born in Turkey in the last five years, adding that Turkey not only opens its doors to Syrians but also all people suffering around the world.

Research coordinator and Daily Sabah columnist Kanat underscored that the Turkish people stood up for their democracy, country and state with everything they had on July 15. “From now on, Turkey is a source of inspiration for all nations who are standing against military interventions,” Kanat said. He said the Turkish nation was disappointed by the western countries that did not reach out after the failed coup attempt and claimed that any form of instability that occurs in Turkey does affects the Middle East and Europe.

Attending the panel session as the guest speaker, CAIR’s Los Angeles representative Ayloush began his speech by saying that Turkey is a very valuable country for all Muslims around the world. “Turkey has been a shining star and showed the world that Islamic values can coexist with democracy,” he added. Stating that Turkey is the only country in the region where democracy functions, Ayloush said a strong and stable Turkey will continue to be a hope for all people suffering in the region.

Following the speeches, American Muslims took the floor during a Q&A session and said they are praying for Turkey as they see Turkey as the protector of the innocent nations of the Middle East. One of the representatives for American Jews also took the floor and said they share the good wishes and prayers of the Muslim Americans.

The 53rd ISNA Congress, which hosted roughly 600 stalls, created an environment for people all over the world to share their thoughts and beliefs about the problems in the Islamic world. The congress, which opened its doors on Sept. 2, finished Monday.

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