Erdogan: West supporting terrorism, coups
Turkish president says July 15 attempted coup was 'orchestrated abroad'
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday accused the West of backing terrorism and coups.
Speaking at a meeting of international investors at the presidential complex in Ankara, Erdogan criticized a ruling by a German court that thwarted his addressing an anti-coup protest in Cologne, citing how in 2011 Germany allowed a senior PKK leader to speak at a festival in the same city.
"Now I'm asking, is the West supporting terrorism in this incident? Is the West taking side with democracy or coups and terrorism?" the president asked.
Erdogan, who has previously hinted at suspicions of foreign involvement in the July 15 coup attempt, also criticized “some Western countries” for urging people against visiting Turkey.
“The West is supporting terrorism and taking side with coups [since] they are not hurt as badly as we are,” he said.
In his remarks, the president said the failed coup was not masterminded and planned inside Turkey but orchestrated abroad.
Turkey has repeatedly accused US-based preacher Fetullah Gulen of organizing the coup and has said those involved in the coup attempt are members of the banned Fetullah Terrorist Organization or FETO.
In an apparent reference to an electronic board at Vienna airport used by the Kronen Zeitung newspaper to screen headlines, Erdogan said: “Unfortunately, some European countries show adverts at their airports like ‘Do not go to Turkey. You will be supporting Erdogan’.
“What kind of democracy is that? I am not a president that came to power by military coup, rather a president who got 52 percent of the votes of public,” said Erdogan.
On Sunday, EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik also slammed via his Twitter account the message displayed in Vienna and described it as a “scandalous sign”, “sheer hostility” and “against EU values”.
Erdogan said Turkey must form a strong intelligence mechanism to stop illegal activities carried out by Fetullah Terrorist Organization, which he said damaged the country’s intelligence agency, preventing it from receiving necessary information about the coup attempt.
"We don't only have National Intelligence Service [MIT]. We have also Security Intelligence and Gendarme Intelligence Services," Erdogan said.
"These intelligence services had not warned the relevant authorities, instead, they behaved like an enemy," he said. "We have to set up a strong intelligence mechanism to target FETO activities."
Erdogan also said Turkey's presidency of telecommunication and communication would be shut down as part of a nation-wide probe against the coup plotters linked to the FETO terror organization.
"It is one of the corrupted institutions," he added.
Erdogan said that out of more than 3.3 million public officers, 62,000 were suspended in the country following the attempted coup.
"We should not forget that they will be able to return to their duties if allegations about them proved baseless after necessary interrogations and investigations are over," he noted.
Erdogan also criticized those who doubt Gulen was involved in the coup attempt despite testimonies and proven documents.
"There are still some people who are unaware of what is going on in the world and saying 'We don't know if the person in America [Fetullah Gulen] is behind this [coup] attempt.
"Everything is obvious, proved with documents," the president said.
In addition, Erdogan urged the international community to form a consensus against terrorist activities, warning that failure to do so would hit back against countries like a boomerang.
"We gave the names of the terrorists to Belgium, but they said these people were not terrorists and released them. Later, these same people blew themselves at the [Belgian] airport," he added.
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