By Burak Dag
ANKARA (AA) - The spontaneous popular resistance against the July 15 coup attempt is a major sociological development in Turkey's recent history that Western observers fail to understand, presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said Tuesday.
Speaking to TRT World, Kalin said that when compared to Turkey's history of putschist attempts, it marked the first time that ordinary people poured out onto the streets to defend democracy and the rule of law.
He said the outpouring of support for democracy manifests the confidence the present government inculcated in its people.
But the reactions of Western capitals to this bloody attempt to root out an elected government were disappointing.
Kalin further said that the fateful incident of July 15 also added a new dimension to Turkey's national security threat perception.
“Any country faced with such a dire situation will take decisive action to eliminate this terrorist threat,” he added.
“We were disappointed, and it was hard for us to understand that some countries in Europe and other places instead of taking measures against the terrorists themselves were criticizing the [Turkish] government for taking measures against FETO terrorists,” he said, asking who killed these people, bombarded parliament and tried to assassinate the president of Turkey.
Kalin also stated that when those countries take strict measures, it is praised as a necessity of public order.
“It was the Turkish president, the government and people of various political views that stood against them,” he said, referring to FETO.
Touching on Turkey’s public diplomacy efforts to explain how the terrorist organization organized and hid itself in institutions in the country for the last 40 years, Kalin said although there are similar examples such as secretive underground movements in Europe, none has reached the level that FETO reached in Turkey.
FETO “felt like they are so powerful that they can impose their ideas and wishes on an elected government, force civil servants not to serve the country and go by rules by which they are bound but to advance their own perverted agenda. We had to explain all this,” he said.
“Some who had a different political agenda thought it was just the government trying to justify its excessive measures in Turkey. By adopting this rather cynical point of view, they ended up willingly or unwillingly siding with the FETO terrorists. To this day, four years after the coup, unfortunately some key allies in NATO and Europe including the US continue to fail to understand the gravity of what happened and why we had to take measures.
“FETO terrorists in Western countries still continue to present themselves as a peaceful religious charity and educational institution…It is no excuse to say that they [FETO] aren’t breaking any laws in our country. You wouldn’t allow al-Qaeda or Daesh sympathizers or operatives or terrorists just because they give the appearance that they aren’t breaking the law in your country,” he added.
-Extradition of FETO leader
Touching on the extradition of the FETO terrorist organization’s leader, Fethullah Gulen, who is based in the US, Kalin said many people in Turkey believe that harboring members of the organization in the US gives them a safe haven.
He said FETO terrorists undermine Turkish-American relations by engaging in all kinds of smear campaigns.