Ambassador Erciyes Interview For Hebdo Magazine ( 22.07.2016) : “turkey Will Emerge Stronger From This Ordeal”

Beyrut Büyükelçiliği 22.07.2016

Çagatay Erciyes, Turkish Ambassador in Beirut explained to Hebdo Magazine the reasons for the failure of the coup and its consequences on the country and on its regional role.

Question: The United States and the European countries have expressed concern about the arbitrary nature of some arrests after the coup attempt of July 16. Are these fears justified?

Answer: The failure of the coup is a victory for the Turkish people and for the democracy in our country. The sacrifices made to prevent the overthrow of the democratically elected authorities should be valued at fair value. The group that attempted to take power bombed the Parliament, the government buildings, public institutions and fired on unarmed civilians. For the first time in the history of Turkey, all political parties, whatever their tendency, have stood together against the coup attempt. People went down to the streets to defend democracy and to prevent backsliding. They saved the democratic process. The Turkish people do not want to return to the era of coups.

Question: President Erdogan mentioned a possible reinstatement of the death penalty. Is that a good sign?

Answer: The reinstatement of the death penalty, abolished in 2004, was claimed by the families of the victims of the coup. The president said that he had heard this request and that the parliament will review it. He said that he will accept whatever the parliament will decide.

Question: The Turkish authorities claim that the coup has failed and that the situation is completely under control. But why did the government called on supporters to stay in public places, several days after the coup

Answer: They are not supporters of the government but Turkish citizens of all political tendencies who are in the streets. The whole society is mobilized to mark its commitment to democracy.

Question: What do you think will be the impact of the attempted coup on Turkey and on its regional role?

Answer: I believe that Turkey will emerge stronger from this ordeal. Our country is fighting with determination against terrorist groups, including the Islamic state and the Gülen group. This pernicious and terrorist organization has penetrated the judiciary institution, the army and the administration. We must eliminate the danger it poses to preserve stability.

Question: But the weakening and the humiliation of the Turkish army wouldn’t have a negative impact on the stability of the country?

Answer: The Turkish army is one of the most powerful in the world, it contains 500.000 men. It is not the army which perpetrated the coup but a small group of conspirators within it. Their first step was to take hostage the leaders of the army. Every year in August, the army generals meet to discuss the situation of the military institution. They intended to exclude a number of elements having relations with Gülen’s organization. These officers have conspired."

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