On July 15, 2016, Turkey was faced with a terrorist coup attempt. Fetullah Gulen, a sinister cult leader and his insidious terrorist organization FETO (Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization) tried to overthrow the legitimate government in Turkey and assassinate its democratically elected President. That night, the universal values of democracy, freedom and the rule of law came under direct attack.
Very few nations in the world have experienced such a direct and severe threat to their democracy in recent history. And even fewer nations in the world have risen to such a challenge as successfully as the Turkish people did on the night of July 15.
Indeed, the entire Turkish nation stood against this heinous act of terror. Civilians threw themselves in front of rogue tanks, and stood against the bullets of renegade soldiers.
As the result of the coup attempt, 251 brave civilians were massacred, whereas over 2000 of the Turkish citizens were wounded. At that night, the coup plotters bombed many state institutions, including the Presidency, the Parliament and the Headquarters of Turkish National Police. I was also at the General Assembly of the Parliament together with the deputies and we witnessed in person that the FETO was as heineous as they could dare to bomb their own people.
The 15th July coup attempt has shown the dark and violent side of this terrorist network that for too long has hidden itself behind a shroud of so-called respectability and purported tolerance.
So, what is the FETO? Who are the FETO members? What do they want? The leader of this organization still lives in Pennsylvania/United States in a self-imposed exile. Turkish requests of extradition have so far not been met. The followers of Fetullah Gulen believe that he is the “messiah.” Violating any legal, religious or ethical codes is fully legitimate for the FETO to advance its interests. It is an exceptional terrorist organization based on hypocrisy, concealment and secrecy. For decades, the FETO members did everything to infiltrate all critical state organs, such as the police, judiciary, and armed forces.
Organized in many countries, the FETO is not a solemn threat to Turkey. All countries must vigilant about it. Note that we are faced with a terrorist structure with global aspirations. It conceals its true nature behind a loose network of schools, NGOs seemingly promoting interfaith dialogue, lobbyists, media outlets and companies.
Turkey is committed to fight all the forms and manifestations of terrorism no matter wherever they are nested and whatever their motives and appreciates all efforts taken by any governments to fade the FETO presence away in their countries, including Sudan.
The intimacy between the peoples of Turkey and Sudan was also well-known by the FETO; thus, they formed their presence in Sudan disguised beneath the educational and humanitarian support mechanisms in order to infiltrate into the Sudanese policy-making bodies. However, thanks to the awareness of Sudanese people and their wholeheartedness to the Turkish people’s defend of their democracy, Turkey is not felt alone its struggle against this heinous terrorist organization.