Turkey And Its Allies Can Defeat Terrorism, FM Çavuşoğlu Says
Turkey’s foreign minister has used an article in a U.S. newspaper to say there is “no difference between the terrorist attacks of New York, Orlando, Brussels, Paris or Ankara”.
Çavuşoğlu wrote: “We expect our friends and allies — the United States, first and foremost — to act in full solidarity with us in fighting against terrorism.”
On Turkey’s defeated coup attempt, Çavuşoğlu added: “What happened on July 15 was a milestone for Turkish democracy. A group within the Turkish Armed Forces ruthlessly attacked Turkey’s democratic institutions and, above all, the Turkish people:
“They bombed the Parliament building while it was in session. They bombed the Presidential Palace. They tried to assassinate the president. Tanks rolled over the civilians who were protesting the coup attempt. Attack helicopters opened fire on unarmed citizens.”
Turkey’s government has said the attempted coup was organized by followers of U.S.-based Fetullah Gülen, who is accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through infiltrating Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming a “parallel state”.
At least 240 people, including members of the security forces and civilians, were martyred during the failed putsch, and more than 1,500 others were wounded as they protested against it.
“The Turkish people showed momentous bravery by taking to the streets against the plotters in defense of their democracy, rights and liberties. Their resolve saved our constitutional system,” wrote Çavuşoğlu.
“We have solid proof that this coup attempt was staged by a clandestine terrorist organization (FETÖ), led by Fetullah Gülen residing in Pennsylvania,” he added.
“Many of the plotters have confessed to being members of FETÖ, and we have also recovered communications between military plotters and Gülenists, including telephone records, which show orders to support the coup attempt and discussions on when to fire on innocent civilians and bomb occupied buildings.”
The foreign minister added he expects a swift and favorable response from the United States.
“Turkey is determined to bring the perpetrators of this coup attempt and their mentor to justice. To this end, the provisional arrest warrants and files for extradition of the leader of this terrorist organization were transmitted to U.S. authorities,” he said.
“Our expectation is a swift and favorable response to our request from our ally. At the moment, this is the most sensitive issue in our relations with the United States.”
Çavuşoğlu wrote Operation Euphrates Shield — launched on Aug. 24 and aimed at improving security, supporting coalition forces and eliminating the terror threat along Turkey’s border using Free Syrian Army fighters backed by Turkish armor, artillery and jets — “showed Turkey’s determination and ability to clean its borders of terrorist organizations”.
“However, to eliminate Daesh completely, the conflict in Syria must be brought to an end,” Çavuşoğlu added. “Turkey wishes to see a stable, united, democratic and prosperous Syria. There is a need for a genuine political transition.”
Çavuşoğlu also highlighted the need to focus on the Assad regime.
“The international community should exert more pressure on the Assad regime. A previous ceasefire collapsed because of the regime’s continuous violations,” he said.
“Now, in the short run, an enduring cessation of hostilities and the regular delivery of humanitarian aid are essential. Only then will a continuation of the political process be possible.”
Çavuşoğlu wrote Turkey and the United States were “indispensable” allies which shared “similar views on many global issues”.
“Covering critically important issues, such as combating terrorism, energy security, nuclear non-proliferation and global economic developments in a broad geography, the Turkish-American partnership generates concrete and positive outcomes,” said the foreign minister.
“Now Miami stands to be a part of this multifaceted synergy,” he added. “This great and welcoming city is also home to more than 5,000 Turkish Americans.”
The foreign minister concluded his article by inviting U.S. citizens and Miami residents in general to visit and “enjoy” Turkish hospitality.
“Our consulate general in Miami will surely help to take Turkish-American relations yet to another level. I invite all Americans to come and visit Turkey to discover its wonders and to enjoy Turkish hospitality,” he said.