By Pervez Bari
New Delhi: “The Republic of Turkey took re-birth on July 16, 2016 (morning) after its first birth in 1923. The first one was created by Mustafa Kemal Pasha (Ataturk) and his associates which created a strong Turkish modern State while this re-birth was made possible by the common people strengthening democracy in Turkey.
Terrorism in uniforms appeared like a military coup but it was like an internal aggression made by 1.5 per cent armed forces with 74 tanks, 34 helicopters, F-16 jets, three naval warships. The plotters not only rolled tanks on the roads but also took them to the Istanbul International Airport, Bosphorus Bridge, bombed the national Parliament (TBMM). Ankara Police Headquarter building, Intelligence Building (MIT), and the complex of the Turkish Special Police force at the outskirt of Ankara. The plotters’ actions were full-fledged war against the Turkish State, Turkish People, Turkish values and Turkish military tradition. Moreover, the deployment of 25 special commandos to capture or kill the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the hotel in Marmaris in the night of July 15 and the hostile movement of the plotters’ F-16 jets in the air following the President’ plane—Gulfstream IV are some of those designs which seem to be scripted and directed by hidden forces”.
The above views were expressed by Prof. (Dr.) Arshi Khan, Department of Political Science, AMU Aligarh, while delivering a Lecture on “The Republic of Turkey in the Midst of Crisis—Military Coup or Terrorism in Uniforms: An Overview”. The lecture was delivered at the Institute of Objective Studies, (IOS), here on the occasion of the General Assembly meeting.
Interestingly, it may be mentioned here that Prof. (Dr.) Arshi Khan’s was awarded Ph. D. degree on his thesis entitled “The Turkish Democracy and Political Parties” from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi while he completed his M. Phil. on “Turkey-Greece Relations with reference to Cyprus” from the same university.
Continuing Prof. Arshi Khan in his lecture recalled the golden chapters of the history of India and Turkey relations particularly during the period of the First World War when 800,000 out of 100,000 Indian armed forces under the British colonial administration were deployed in the Muslim world to fight against the Osmanli Devlet (Ottoman State). Prof. Khan said that Turkey has historically been very important country in the world which emerged as a Republic in 1923 after a long battle against the invading forces of the West soon after the First World War.
Prof. Arshi said that on 15th July, 2016 night, the Republic of Turkey faced “unthinkable” violence and destruction caused by fewer sections of the Turkish armed forces which never happened before. The so-called coup plotters could not take over the country for more than four hours after the fearless Turkish people surfaced on the roads to block the movement of the tanks and marching of the armed forces. More than 270 citizens lost their lives fighting against the plotters and the common masses forced the plotters to wind up and reverse the ‘take over’. He said this should not be called ‘coup d’état’ or coup or plotters’ coup. He said it was basically a new kind of terrorism in uniforms sponsored by the ‘script-writers and directors’. The chain of command was not involved.
He pointed out that after July 15, cases of bomb blasts and military operations have decreased significantly in the south-eastern parts of Turkey creating space again for Turkish-Kurdish reconciliation as it had begun in 2002-2003. Prof. Khan said that in the last twelve months, there were at least 14 bomb explosions killing civilians, police and armed forces. Irresponsible Turkish attack on Russian pilots in November 2015 was done deliberately to create tensions between Russia and Turkey. The purging of the traitors and criminals would certainly reduce the destabilizing factors in Turkey to a great extent.
He said the Turkish President Erdogan directly accused Fethullah Gülen, the self-exiled religious personality, and his group for staging this coup and playing in the hands of ‘masterminds’. Fethullah Gülen is directly identified with Zionists and Zionist elements within the CIA. AK Party Deputy, Labour Minister, a Russian member of Duma (Mr. Vyaceslav Nikonov) and the Turkish Daily—Yenisafak, have directly accused US General F. Campbell, former CIA official Henry J. Berkey and Gulenists for terrorism in uniforms.
Prof. Arshi emphasized that the western denial does not seem to be credible because the NATO has a base in Incirlik, Turkey where 25 per cent of the Nuclear weapons of the NATO are deployed. About 2 to 3000 US forces are stationed there. This Incirlik base was the place from where the plane had flown for refueling plotters’ jets in the Turkish airspace. He said that security of Turkey is linked with the security of NATO. How it is possible for NATO members particularly the US, UK, France and Germany to be unaware of plotter’s conspiracy? Such a huge assault on Turkey by men in uniforms of the Turkish State involving so many generals and war machines cannot remain unknown to NATO intelligence or the CIA. Their innocence can be understood only when they themselves are part of this conspiracy or they maintain benign neglect of this aggression on Turkey, he argued.
He said that Turkish government has been taking tough action against the Gulenist elements within Turkish armed forces, judiciary, bureaucracy, media, intelligence, foreign affairs ministry, educational institutions, publication houses, banking and business houses. The government says that these measures like detention, investigation, dismissal, suspension, and take-over are meant for keeping democracy intact and ensuring security and peace in the country. On the contrary, the western countries have condemned these measures as anti-democratic. The Austrian branch of International Amnesty is making money collection to fight cases for the plotters. The European Union has threatened Turkey to stop accession negotiations with Turkey for EU membership. Moreover, the western leaders did not condemn the killings, violence and bombings of national institutions of Turkey done by the plotters.
He said that the plan of the script-writers to convert Erdogan into Morsi failed. The Gulenists spread the rumour that Erdogan had himself planned the coup to strengthen him. Reality is getting exposed gradually validating the concerns of the government. The western media has been targeting Erdogan as dictator violating human rights and democracy while they know that it is Turkey and not Europe which host 3 million Syrian refugees. The EU countries have shown their colour on the refugee issue. Erdogan is also being called Islamist and pulling the country towards anarchy. Erdogan is certainly a Muslim but his policies are focused on democratic and developmental issues in Turkey.
Lastly, Prof. Arshi Khan said that a stable, peaceful, democratic and powerful Turkey is pre-requisite to the future of Europe. Turkey’s role in the region and the world would increase. Politics and governance in Turkey will be more inclusive, sharing and harmonious. Turkey had relations with Balkans, Caucasia, Macedonia, Caspian Sea area, etc., he concluded. The lecture was followed by question and answer session.
Meanwhile, at the outset Prof. M. Afzal Wani, School of Law & Legal Studies, G. G. Singh Indraprastha University & Assistant Secretary General, IOS, read out the message of the Ambassador of Turkey in New Delhi Dr. Burak Akçapar, accredited to India, Maldives and Nepal. The Turkish Ambassador was actually to be present at the lecture but due to some unavoidable reasons failed to turn up but sent his message for the occasion. The message read: “Turkish nation stands firmly behind its democratically elected President, Parliament and Government. On the night of July 15th they have written a new chapter in history by facing tanks and aircraft and stopping a coup attempt. The coup plotters unleashed terror upon the Turkish people. They martyred over 200 citizens, mostly civilians, whose only weapon was their commitment to democratic Turkey, their courage and their faith………”.
In his presidential remarks, Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Chairman, IOS, while praising the democratic system of Turkey, said that the country was inhabited by many ethnic groups of Europe in complete harmony and in the spirit of brotherhood. People of German and Russian origin constituted a sizeable population among them, he added.
[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He writes regularly for India’s First Online Muslim Newspaper “IndianMuslimObserver.com”. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org]