Turkish president writes in Guardian that West still does not fully appreciate significance of what happened on July 15.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked western leaders to make a choice between Turkey and terrorist organizations in an article he wrote for a British daily on Saturday.
Published in the Guardian on the first anniversary of the July 15 defeated coup, Erdogan wrote: “There is no way to sugar-coat this betrayal of Turkey’s friendship -- which is incompatible with bilateral relations and fundamental values alike.
“Today, western leaders have a choice between standing in solidarity with terrorists or regaining the favor of the Turkish people.”
According to the Turkish government, Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
"The thwarting of the coup marked a turning point in the history of democracy; it will be a source of hope and inspiration for all peoples who live under dictators," the president said.
He slammed western leaders for not fully appreciating the significance of what happened in Turkey on July 15, 2016.
“Instead of expressing solidarity with my countrymen, a number of western governments and institutions opted to wait and see how the crisis would play out,” Erdogan said.
“Their hypocrisy and double standards deeply disturbed the Turkish people, who risked everything to defend freedom.”
In his article, the president underlined the importance of bringing Fetullah Gulen and his followers to justice; Erdogan said evidence proves they were behind the foiled coup.
It “isn’t just important for Turkey but for democracy everywhere,” he said.
“Our goal is to prosecute criminals to the full extent of the law while building our country’s resilience to future attacks.”