By Ousainou J. Sawaneh
The Turkish Ambassador to the Gambia, His Excellency Ismail Sefa Yuseer set tears as he recalls the painful memories in the 2016 Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) coup attempt which claims over 250 lives and more than 2500 people injured.
Ambassador Sefa Yuseer was speaking in a press briefing marking the 3rd Anniversary of the 15th July 2016 Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) coup attempt in Turkey, which was held recently at the Embassy’s premises in Brufut.
H.E Sefa Yuceer said the bloody attempt was thwarted by the bravery and sacrifice of the Turkish people and the painful memories of the fateful night are still fresh on the minds of the Turkish people.
He added that the putsches mercilessly used lethal military hardware against innocent civilians, who took to the streets to defend their democratic institutions, claiming the lives of 251 innocent Turkish citizens and wounding more than 2,500 people.
‘’As three years elapsed since this ominous event took place, the Turkish Government and the Turkish people made a long way in overcoming the trauma posed by this existential threat” he said
He said the focus of the Turkish Government has rested basically on two things, namely, diagnosing the reasons for the presence of FETO elements within the security and civilian structures of the state and rehabilitating the state apparatus from these terrorist elements.
He alluded that Turkey, under the wise leadership of H.E. President Erdogan, has managed to overcome the trauma created by FETO. Three years on, our fight against FETO-member coup plotters has not weakened our security forces and civilian bureaucracy, on the contrary, the Turkish Armed Forces, National Police and state apparatus in general have grown stronger as they have been cleared of FETO-member traitors, he adduced.
In the brief information about the terrorist organization, the Ambassador stated that Fetullah Gulen is the ringleader of a clandestine, criminal and terrorist organization called FETO that is unprecedented in terms of its global reach, ambitions and methods.
He said Gulen is one of the serious threats to Turkey and to understand the security threat posed by his crime network, one needs to look into the enormity of his actions, primarily the 15th July coup attempt, and the resulting trauma that the Turkish nation has experienced.
He revealed that Gulen and his followers planned and tried to capture the Turkish Republic on that date,
“They tried to assassinate the President of the Republic of Turkey. They attacked the Prime Minister’s vehicle and air-bombarded the Grand National Assembly. The Presidential Complex, the buildings of the National Intelligence Organization and Turkish National Police departments were attacked. The Police Special Operations Center, the crucial counter-terrorism operational body of Turkey in Ankara, was bombed by fighter jets, killing 55 police officers and injuring hundreds on the spot”. He stressed.
He mourned that hundreds of civilians protesting the coup attempt in Ankara and Istanbul were shot to death, The FETO coup plotters targeted public and private communication outlets, including TRT (state broadcasting channel) and CNN Turk.
The Ambassador further explained that after the coup, the perpetrators were brought to justice before the Turkish Independent Court and the court gives its verdict and the legal proceedings for some of the perpetrators are going on.
“We have an extensive collection of factual evidence including video footage, digital materials gathered at Akinci Air Base (the center of operations of the coup-plotters), satellite communications among plotters, and the confessions of FETO members who actively participated in the coup attempt and the statements of those Turkish officers resisting the coup attempt”. He said
The Ambassador lamented that they now understand that this was the first step of an infiltration campaign where kids and their parents were recruited with the seemingly innocent promise of a better education and a good job.
“These kids were put through school with academic and financial help and mainly a heavy hand in indoctrination. They turned into unquestioning foot soldiers of Fetullah Gulen who claims to be the (Chosen One)” he said.
He also urged the media and countries to be careful and vigilant about the Fetullah terrorist organization adding that the Gambia was then first country to close the Fetullah School in 2014.
He said during the coup and after the coup Gambia government has exhibited strong solidarity with the Turkish government.