Ankara, October 4, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Manolis Kostidis
What is going on in Ankara
G.S. Press: “Erdogan broke up with Gulen like Pit broke up with Jolie”
Opposition: “The situation has gotten out of control. We must not forget that the FETO organisation reached the peak of its power in the Erdogan era”
Everyone agrees on the return of the 8 Turkish military personnel from Greece to Turkey
A military truck which had been destroyed by Turkish citizens on the night of the coup attempt on July 15, which is outside the palace Erdogan in Ankara, even to this day remains there to remind the Turks what happened that night. The government says the battle against the coup continues, the opposition, which at the beginning supported Erdogan’s prosecutions against the followers of Gülen, now expresses fears of straying from democratic principles. The Turkish government argues that behind the coup is the FETO organization.
In our visit to the Turkish capital we witnessed that there still remain traces of the bombing, the shooting and fighting given that night against the coup.
Around the Turkish Parliament, which was bombed that night, still remain debris that cause shock. Already repair works have began, but some of the debris will remain to remind the people of what happened that night.
Recep Tayip Erdogan has declared July 15th a national day of remembrance and public holiday. It seems that the Turkish president is attempting to write a new history of the Turkish Republic.
However, after the attempted coup began the persecution of followers of Imam Fethullah Gülen, the order of whom in Turkey is called terrorist organization FETÖ, as Ankara argues that behind the attempt to overthrow the Turkish president is the imam who lives in the US.
At least 70,000 people have been interrogated, while 32,000 have been arrested on charges of involvement in the coup as well as for their relations with the organization FETO.
“Turkey will only breathe if all members of this terrorist organization are caught. Just like Al Qaeda, this organization may have hidden cores waiting to strike again”, told us the general secretary of Press in Turkey, Mehmet Akarca. After stating that 42 journalists have been arrested, charged with participation in the coup attempt, he argued that press freedom in Turkey continues to exist.
When asked about the earlier close relations of Erdogan and the AKP with Gulen, he said that “even Brad Pit with Angelina Jolie get a divorce after so many years”.
Akarca however expressed the desire of Ankara for the return of the eight Turkish soldiers who have sought asylum in Greece. “Alexis Tsipras was loved in Turkey for his honesty and because he is young and handsome. Logic dictates that he must return the; He would be even more liked. As we are talking about 8 people who participated in the coup”.
“We are concerned with what is happening now”
“The 15th of July was the 6th but will be the last intervention in our democracy”, says the CHP parliamentary group spokesman Engin Altay. He makes it clear that as a party of the opposition they supported the government’s efforts against members of Gulen, but now expressed fears for the country’s future.
“We have concerns. The visit of the members of the UN Committee for torture was postponed by the Turkish request. This worries us. Also the law on emergency situation troubles us, as mayors are being removed from their positions on the allegations of having links to terrorism. And instead of the municipal council appointing new mayors in their positions the government appoints its own commissioners”, he says.
He stressed that the opposition wants the arrest and interrogation of everyone involved in the coup, “but people cannot be arrested for depositing money to a certain bank, welcomed or had some kind of contact in the past with the organization FETO.
Engin Altay says: “Do not forget that the FETO organization has been present in Turkey for 30 years, but reached its peak in the last 14 years of the AKP government. And the reason for the West’s delayed reaction to the attempted coup was the organic relationship that had the AKP had with FETÖ”.
The chairman of the Turkish Parliament Ismail Kahraman, who had convene the plenary the night of July 15, reminded us that “241 people died to defend democracy. All four parties in Parliament with a joint declaration opposed any action against democracy”. After expressing his complaint for late support of the West to the government, Kahraman also mentioned the eight Turkish officers located in Greece. “On August 17 we sent to Greece all documents that show their actions. I hope that Greece will return these eight terrorists. These eight wanted to kill the president of our country. All this information is in the hands of Greece”.
In Turkish state television TRT there is some kind of commotion. On the night of the coup soldiers had been sent to the station to transmit their declaration. Now 312 employees have been sacked, charged with participation in the coup. In TRT there are 9000 employees. Deputy editor-in-chief Fatih Şahingöz admits that “the country is in a transition period”, and states that investigations to find FETO continue.
In Ankara there are voices that while many people are persecuted, artists, journalists etc, there hasn’t been a cleanup inside the AKP itself for relations with Gulen. The newspaper Hurriyet publishes photos of AKP MPs who visited Gulen and were photographed with him while they still retain their positions.
In Turkey they are even rumors of early elections in 2017, so that the with the list system to permanently delete the names of those within the AKP who might be affiliated with FETO.