Situation returns to normal in Turkey after foiled coup to topple constitutional Govt: Turkish ambassador

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ISLAMABAD, July 22 (APP): Describing the foiled coup as a bid by the ‘terrorists soldiers’ to topple constitutional government, Turkish ambassador to Islamabad Sadik Babur Girgin on Friday said his country would honour all its international commitments including that to Pakistan.

This was a ‘terrorist campaign’ by one 1 per cent of the Army which was not backed by the Turkish Armed Forces as an institution and that was the reason “we call them terrorists”.

Their high command was not involved in it and some of the senior most officials including Chief of General Staff stood against this attempt, masterminded by supporters of the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist organization whose leader had been in the US since long, he told a group of journalists at the first-ever briefing to Pakistani media on details of the botched coup on July 15.

“We have solid proof that this coup attempt has been staged by Gulen supporters who had penetrated the Army and civil bureaucracy”, he added.

The envoy said all the friendly countries had been asked to check the activities of this group whose supporters staged the coup which was defeated by joint efforts of the Parliament, all Turkish political parties and the people. Sadik Babur Girgin, himself was in Turkey during the failed coup attempt and had returned to the the capital a couple of days back.

He vowed the resolve of his country that it would continue to fight the terrorists belonging to Daish and PKK.

Questioned about presence of Fethullah Gulen’s organization in Pakistan, he said Turkkey and Pakistan were “in very close contact in all aspects including this aspect”, but did not elaborate further.

“Pakistan has always been a very good friend of Turkey. We have very good cooperation with Pakistani authorities in every field,” he added.

The representative of Turkish Airlines present on the occasion interjected that all flights, temporarily interrupted for a while, had been restored from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

Girgin said the initial reaction of the world to the failed coup was disappointing but by now all the governments had condemned the plotters.

He specifically mentioned Pakistan which he said did react immediately by extending its support to the elected government of Turkey.

When asked on Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan’s
request of extraditing Fethullah Gulen now living in the U.S.,
he referred to the statement by the American Vice President
Joe Biden that Washington would do what was necessary if it
was given the evidence on Gulen’s involvement in the coup.
“The terrorist will be punished strictly in accordance
with the law,” he said, quelling all speculations in this
regard, and billing it an attempt to distort facts.
He told a questioner that until now no final decision
had been taken to introduce death penalty but this was demanded
by the people who saw a very tiny number of soldiers, shooting
on the parliament and on their own people using the hijacked
helicopters and F-16 jets during the failed coup which lasted
for five to six hours. However, he made it clear the death
penalty would be introduced if it was approved by the
Turkish parliament.
Giving details of those behind the coup, the Turkish envoy
said the immediate personal staff officer to the Chief of General
Staff of Turkish Forces, took hostage his own boss. He was planted
by the Gulen organization as a young cadet in the Army who rose to
the rank of the colonel. This officer had placed a listening device
to spy on his boss and the information later was shared to a teacher
with connections with the terrorist organization Gulen.
The officer is repentant on his actions and requested that
Turkish regret law be applied to him as he was ready to cooperate
with the authorities, the envoy said while referring to the media
reports on this count.
Under regret law the punishment of an accused could be reduced
if cooperates, he said.
Giving the latest figures, he said of the 7,423 detained
personnel of the Armed Forces, 218 had been charged who would
be tried in the court while investigation was underway against
others.

Out of the coup plotters, 24 have been identified while
50 of the captured were wounded, he said adding, the number  could change as investigation was still going on.

He said all the Deans of the universities had been asked
by Higher Education Council to resign but they can be reappointed  after they were cleared by the authorities.

He clarified that  people in bureaucracy who were suspected to be involved, were being suspended until they were cleared after probe.

Video clips on the occasion were also shown to the
journalists which highlighted scenes of tanks running over
people on the roads and gunship helicopters attacking the
parliament building which was in an emergency session as
the failed coup was still underway.

On the imposition of the state of emergency in Turkey
on Thursday, he said it was sanctioned by 75 per cent of
the parliament.

The envoy saif the decision would empower the government
to ask people surrender their arms which can be returned to
them later or the authorities could conduct search anywhere
on the basis of suspicion.

It also allows the government to issue decrees for three
months, he said, adding that all these powers would be used
against the terrorists.

Pakistanis are in a best position to understand Turkish
fight against terrorism as they themselves were it victims
of the scourge, he said.

Fielding another question, he said it was not correct
that media had been gagged in Turkey as there was very strong  opposition media. However, if the journalists were involved  in illegal activities, they would be tried under the law of  the land, he added.

He said no one was allowed to be disrespectful to the
Turkish President as he represented the nation and if someone  did such a thing, the law would take its course.