Consul General of Turkey Korhan Kemik discussed the one year anniversary of the 2016 failed coup at press conference.
Photo: Consul General Kemik hosting the press conference (credit: Jasmine Lee)
On 15 July, 2016 Turkey experienced a brutal coup d’état attempt, which took 250 lives and left over 2,000 wounded. The date of the failed coup attempt is now a national holiday and named the Democracy and National Unity Day of the Republic of Turkey.
On the occasion of the Democracy and National Unity Day, Turkish Consul General Korhan Kemik held a press conference at the Consulate in Hong Kong about the coup attempt a year ago and its mastermind, Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organisation (FETÖ).
“It was the worst act of terror in Turkish history,” Kemik said. “At the same time, it was a trial of strength of the Turkish democracy and the Turkish state. We take pride of having succesfully overcome this challenge.” A documentary film showing from the night of the coup attempt, including graphic shots of murder victims lying on the street who were killed by the coup plotters and the general chaos that ensued, was part of the presentation. Kemik stated that Turkey has two sources of pride from that night: the courage and unity of the Turkish people against the coup attempt and the equal commitment of the Turkish people to democracy. Thousands of people from all walks of life came out, united against the military coup attempt and revealed that there was an equal commitment of the Turkish people to democracy. According to Kemik, the Turkish people proved their faith to democracy to the entire world. They stand against the heavily armed coup plotters with only flags and thwarted this terrorist act which aimed at overthrowing the democratically elected government.
Kemik then discussed FETÖ and its leader Fethullah Gülen, who he stated was the mastermind behind the failed coup. He underlined that FETÖ is a terrorist organization with a network covering around 160 countries. There are two sides to the organisation; the first is the visible side that is known as Hizmet, “service” in Turkish. It portrays itself as a civil movement. However, it has a “darker underbelly”, as Kemik called it. This refers to the side that recruits people to work against and clandestinly infiltrate the Turkish state and take control of the entire state structure from within by using every illegal means. This organisation puts special emphasis on indoctrinating young minds to its cause. It “brainwashes” its members from young age and attain a loyal following. The members of FETÖ see Fethullah Gülen as a messiah, and blindly follow his instructions, leading to numerous anti-Turkish state actions including the coup attempt of last year.
Kemik concluded by saying that Turkey is determined in its fight against FETÖ and asks the support of the members of the international community.