Press Statement of the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey, H.E. Murat Yavuz Ates – 23 July 2016

Nepido Büyükelçiliği 23.07.2016

Dear members of the press, I warmly welcome you all to the press conference. Thank you very much for attending this event.

As you are all well aware, on the evening of July 15th, a faction of the Turkish Armed Forces attempted to stage a coup in various cities of Turkey.

It was understood in a short time that this was more than a treacherous plot: It was a terrorist campaign. The perpetrators shot at their own people, betrayed their commanders and bombed the Parliament and the Office of the Presidency.

From the very beginning, the command chain and vast majority of the Turkish Armed Forces stood up against the coup attempt. It was merely some elements of the armed forces that joined this violent conspiracy. Both the police and public prosecutors immediately took necessary measures to foil the attempt.

Above all, it was the Turkish nation who thwarted this plot. The Turkish nation displayed a historic solidarity as they took to the streets and remained defiant. They stood bravely in front of the tanks and reclaimed their democratic rights.

The terrorists tried to broadcast their message by taking over studios of the state television and by raiding private media outlets. Yet the plotters’ attempt to control the media did not last long. It must be noted that the Turkish media also played a key role in defeating the coup attempt.

Throughout the process, all the political parties and Members of the Turkish Parliament and the people stood firmly by democracy, democratic politics, democratic institutions and the Constitution. A Joint Declaration in defense of democracy was issued during the extraordinary meeting of the Parliament on the 16th of July.

Unfortunately, more than 200 of our citizens were left dead and more than 1400 wounded.

Our President, Prime Minister, Government and all Members of the Turkish Parliament (including all the opposition parties) and the Turkish people all together defeated this coup attempt and stood by democracy and rule of law.

The terrorists are being captured and will be punished in accordance with the law.

The coup attempt is linked to the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), which has tried to overthrow the democratically-elected Government and the constitutional order in Turkey. Our government has been constantly exposing the real motives of this terrorist group and its leader, Fethullah Gülen, to all of Turkey’s allies and partners for some time. The foiled coup has constituted the latest criminal act revealing the danger posed by this terrorist organization.

This terrorist organization has dangerous undercover networks not only in the army but also in several state organs in Turkey. Within this framework, with a view to take measures for public order and security, a nation-wide State of Emergency was declared as of the 21st July 2016 in accordance with our Constitution and in full observance of European Convention of Human Rights.

State of emergency is a measure permissible under international law taken by many states when there is an imminent threat to its security and order. You may remember that France has also recently extended for another six months the state of emergency that it declared previously. Taking into consideration the seriousness and the multi-dimensional aspects of the security threats that Turkey has been facing since 15thJuly, the State of Emergency is a proper step.

I would like to point out that the state of emergency will not affect fundamental rights and freedoms of our citizens. On the contrary, it is a nationwide measure taken for the efficient protection of the constitutional order as well as fundamental rights and freedoms. Utmost importance is being shown to this end.

Democratic structure of the state will be protected and the rule of law will continue to be upheld.

Thank you very much


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