Turkey now marks July 15 as Democracy and National Unity Day. The day is commemorated with events honoring those who lost their lives beating back the putschists.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
The Turkish government accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the legitimate state apparatus, through infiltrations into Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
We asked Dr. Doğu Perinçek, Chairman of Vatan Party (Turkey) about the background of the July 15 coup attempt and its international effects.
Who and what forces were behind the July 15 coup attempt?
It is clear that the United States was behind the coup attempt on July 15-16, 2016. There is no question in this regard. The organization behind the attack is organized by the US. The underground organization of NATO, the Gladyo Fetullah terrorist organization (FETÖ), as we all know, is commissioned by the US, and therefore it is the US who organized the coup through FETÖ.
‘THEY TARGETED TURKEY FOR ITS ORIENTATION TOWARDS EURASIA’
Was the July 15 coup attempt only against President Erdoğan on the national plane, or did they target Turkey on the international plane as well?
This coup attempt was an operation that the US launched to take control of Turkey and bring its government under their power. Therefore, it was a coup attempt that targeted not only Mr. Erdoğan, but also Turkey and the entirety of its national forces. While it cannot be said that it was targeting a single person, Mr. Erdoğan was undoubtedly at the center of the target since he was in power at the time.
Of course, to target Turkey’s national forces means that the West Asian and Eurasian states that are Turkey’s friends were also targeted on the international plane. When we look at the international plane, the July 15 coup attempt was aimed at keeping Turkey within the Atlantic system. At the beginning of the 2000s, the CIA was operating in accordance with a book called ‘Perspectives of the 21st Century’. At the time, we published it in Aydınlık. This fact was identified in that report as following: “Turkey is escaping from our hands, Turkey’s aim is to move along with the Asian powers, we have to prevent it.”
This coup attempt was a coup that was organized in the context of that report, and so they responded saying “Turkey is getting out of US control, breaking off the Atlantic system. Let’s keep it in our hands, even if we can’t keep it, it should go to Asia as wounded. Let it be a weak and wounded country in Asia.”
— Vatan Partisi (@Vatan_Partisi) July 14, 2020
If we start from Turkey’s neighbors, Turkey was supposed to be a country that was under the total control of the US, not a country that could possibly side with the Central Asian countries such as Iran, Syria, Iraq, Russia and China against the West. Since Turkey’s interest was to be with Asia, they attempted to weaken the country so that it could not become powerful and break free… at least, that was the plan.
How do you assess the attitudes of Turkey’s Astana partners, Iran and Russia, following the July 15 coup attempt?
They understoodthat this coup more likely than not came from America, so they took a negative, cold attitude towards it. They showed their attitude objectively.
‘THE MILITARY’S COMMAND WAS AGAINST THE COUP ATTEMPT’
What are the main reasons why the coup attempt failed?
The coup attempt was an adverse event for Turkey’s state of affairs and the process it was going through, so there was no chance of success. Even if they succeeded that night, it wouldn’t take long to undue, they were doomed to failure. This is because Turkey’s taking place in Eurasia is an objective process; Turkey’s interests require moving in this direction. An independent, confident and productive Turkey must be situated in Asia. No matter how much they try to prevent this process, Turkey will continue in this direction. It was never possible for this coup to be successful.
It was also not successful in the short term because of the weaknesses inherent among the coup forces. The Vatan Party of Turkey made this particularly clear: this coup was the coup of the Fetullah terrorist organization within the Turkish Armed Forces. It was the coup attempt of Gladyo. The entire army was not involved in this coup, and the army’s hierarchy of command was not with it. The Vatan Party of Turkey immediately identified this, and decided to tell the truth to both the army and the nation. As a result, this coup was defeated by the army, and if the nation supports the army, of course, it will be successful. That’s why we immediately took action and made an announcement on television that gave us the microphone. We told the nation that this was a pro-American coup, and that the command level of the Turkish Armed Forces was not involved. We announced that the Turkish armed forces and our police and our nation would definitely crush the coup. This was also a reminder of our task, and not simply our due diligence. We reminded the army and police about their duty to suppress the coup.
In other words, we identified who was doing the coup, we stated that the army was not in on it, and reminded the army, police, Turkish nation of their duties in order to help render the coup ineffective. Our actions proved effective.
‘SUPPRESSING GLADYO PREVENTED POSSIBLE COUP ATTEMPTS’
Is there still a threat of a coup attempt in Turkey?
We need to understand the July 15 coup very well. It was not a simple coup attempt that was suppressed: the weapon NATO placed in the Turkish state was destroyed. An underground organization was created within participating NATO states. An armed force called Gladyo was created. This armed force intervenes in critical situations. Turkey had experienced such interventions in both the September 12, 1980 and March 12, 1971. When things do not go the way the US wants, the US mobilizes its forces by activating them inside the army of the country. This was the same on March 12 and September 12. This was yet another American-based coup attempt on July 15-16, but the armed forces of America were violently suppressed. This is an historical event. It was the first time in a NATO country that the Gladyo organization was suppressed by the armed forces of that country. This is of extraordinary historical significance. This is a success that will prevent the coups in the forthcoming period. The suppression of Gladyo, their imprisonment and the killing of some of them that night prevented the possibility of these coups in the future.
There are some rumors that other fractions in the military, for example, the Kemalists, may stage a coup. However, it is not possible for them to stage a coup: these are legal forces. In the forthcoming period, Turkey has big economic challenges in front of it, and these economic challenges will further worsen. This will bring the issues of power even more up to date. There is no law that the laws foreseen in the election law will be applied necessarily, however, all of this will take place legally. After the suppression of the July15-16 coup attempt, compliance with the law was assured.
‘JUDGMENT AFTER THE WAR’
You mentioned compliance with the law. After July 15, there are lots of discussions on the trials in Turkey. Do you think these trials are fair? Do they harm democracy?
The coup was exceptionally bloody: 2,194 people were injured and became veterans, and 251 citizens were killed and martyred. This was a war. There was a war that night: a Turkish-American war. Airplanes, helicopters, tanks were used. It was an extremely bloody affair. After that came the trials. Blood was spilled, people died, tanks were on the street, parliament was bombed, the army headquarters were bombed, people were bombed. There were, of course, many criminal acts which took place. Criminal law follows actions constituting crime. According to this criminal law principle, fair trials have been made and continue to be made. Extremely fair decisions have been made. We support these trials.
‘THE COUP ACCELERATED OUR ORIENTATION TOWARDS ASIA’
Finally, how do you evaluate Turkey’s international positioning after the 15 July coup attempt?
This coup attempt by the US to stop Turkey’s orientation to Asia and Eurasia, and its struggle against terrorism. However, it was thoroughly defeated. The Turkish army, police, and forces of the US within the Turkish state were suppressed and cleaned. Over 4,000 people within the judiciary and around 30,000 within the police were purged. The pro-American FETO structures in almost all ministries were purged. This was a fundamental purification process for the Turkish state. Turkey is committed to guaranteeing its independence, and improving relationships and positioning in Asia. In this regard, the country has gained direction and stability.