Exactly two years ago, in the night of the 15th July 2016, the Turkish people thwarted an attempt of a coup-d’etat staged by members of the terrorist organization of Fethullah Gülen, infiltrated into the armed forces and other public institutions. It was a gruesome terrorist attack, unprecedented in the history of the Republic of Turkey, claiming the lives of 251 civilians and leaving more than 2000 injured.
The Turkish people were united and bravely confronted the putschists. Unarmed civilians stood in front of tanks like a living shield defending public institutions. The pople made it clear they would not let armed groups shape the future of Turkey against the people’s will.
We wish to use this occasion to thank Serbia once more for standing by the Turkish people and Turkish democracy right after the abortive coup.
2. RESULTS OF STRUGGLE AGAINST FETO
a. Struggle against FETO in Turkey
In the night of the coup it was immediately clear that 15 July had been planned by FETO, masterminded by its leader Fethullah Gülen and carried out by FETO elements within the armed forces with the help of their civilian cadres. An extensive investigation in the past two years has supplied evidence to prove this truth. More and more army officers – FETO members – are beginning to admit that the coup attempt was orchestrated by civilian elements of FETO by-passing the chain of command.
Crypto application for internal FETO communication, so-called “Bylock”, was an important source of information that helped identify FETO members. Besides, the contents of 1.7 million messages exchanged by organization members are deciphered bit by bit revealing the scope of the network FETO had built in the country and abroad, as well as their criminal activities such as collection of intelligence information, corruption, installing their men in key positions, forging documents and the like.
Action has been taken against 4000 civil servants. Most of covert FETO members in the armed forces have been apprehended. As a result of the judicial and administrative action within Turkey, state institutions have been mostly cleansed of FETO and the backbone of the organization has been broken.
b. Struggle against FETO abroad
Foreign public has begun to realize that FETO is not a social movement engaging in education and humanitarian activities as it pretends to be.
For Turkey and third countries alike, FETO is a threat and danger. It applies the same strategy at home and abroad using schools as the axis for increasing its economic and political power, spreading its network and pursuing illegal activities. With this realization, foreign countries have started deepening their cooperation with Turkey in the struggle against FETO.
One by one, FETO is losing control of its educational institutions as its most efficient instrument of militant upbringing and financial source. Hundreds of FETO schools/courses have been closed in more than 30 countries. In fact they have either been closed or put under state control or transferred to the Maarif Vakuf foundation. It is estimated that, with the exception of “charter” schools in the USA run by FETO, one half of the total number of schools have been saved from the claws of FETO.
In addition, movement limitations have been set to FETO leaders abroad. Investigations of judicial casefiles of key members of this structure abroad have been speeded up. In the last two years, FETO administrators from various countries have been deported back to Turkey. Many other FETO members have been banished from third countries by means of residence permit cancellations. In some states, judicial procedures against FETO organization have been launched.
3. ACTIVITIES ORGANIZED ON THE OCCASION OF THE SAECOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE FAILED COUP D’ETAT OF 15th JULY
12 July in Novi Sad opening of an exhibition of photographs 15 July – Day of Democracy and National Unity of Turkey at the Culture Center of Novi Sad in cooperation with TIKA agency, City of Novi Sad and Novi Sad Culture Center
13 July in Sjenica symbolical planting of 251 trees in memory of the victims„Shehids of 15th July“ (in cooperation with TIKA Agency and Sjenica Municipality)
13 July in Novi Pazar Commemoration (in cooperation with Yunus Emre Culture Center, the City of Novi Pazar and Bosniac National Council
14 July in Belgrade – Turkish-Serbian children’s bicycle race in Kalemegdan with the slogan „Pedalling for friendship and democracy“ (in cooperation with Yunus Emre Cultural Center and the Cycling Federation of Serbia)