"democracy Won In Turkey" By Ambassador Reha Keskintepe

Valetta Büyükelçiliği 26.07.2016

The Malta Independent, 19 July 2016

The tragic events which unfolded on the evening of July 15th in Turkey’s capital Ankara, and her biggest city Istanbul, as well as in various cities of the country resulted in a triumph of Turkish democracy. The coup attempt staged by a faction of the Turkish Armed Forces failed as a result of the joint determination and courage displayed by our President, Prime Minister, Government and Members of the Parliament and the Turkish people, as well as media organisations which transmitted President Erdogan’s messages to its viewers live during those crucial hours.

It was understood in a short time that this was more than a treacherous plot: It was a terrorist campaign. The perpetrators shot at their own people, stabbed their commanders in the back and bombed the National Parliament and the Office of the Presidency. Unfortunately, 208 civilians were left dead and more than 1400 wounded. They will always be remembered as martyrs of democracy.

However, from the very beginning, the command chain and vast majority of the Turkish Armed Forces stood up against the coup attempt. It was merely some elements of the Air Forces, Gendarmerie and armoured units that joined the violent conspiracy. Both the police and public prosecutors immediately took necessary measures to foil the attempt.

Above all, it was the Turkish nation who thwarted the plot. They displayed a historic solidarity as they took to the streets and remained defiant. They stood bravely in front of tanks and reclaimed their democratic rights. They are still celebrating the victory of democracy and the rule of law over military rule in public squares throughout Turkey every evening since 15th July.

When addressing the extraordinary session of the parliament the Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Binali Yıldırım stated that this fateful day will occupy a very special place in the annals of Turkish history. At the same session all political parties represented in the parliament issued a joint statement, which underlines the determination demonstrated by parliament against the failed coup attempt and states that this is invaluable for the further strengthening of Turkish democracy. The statement “is testimony to the fact that nothing in Turkey will be the same”, that despite differences in views, there will be unity and common purpose among political parties to safeguard the national will.

The Turkish government and parliament is grateful to the messages of support and solidarity we received from our friends, partners and allies, including Malta. We count on their continued support as Turkey deals with the consequences of the failed coup. The international community should rest assured that the terrorists will be punished in accordance with law and that the rights of citizens and civil society organisations will be strictly observed.

As life in Turkey returns to its normal pace, as all airports have become operational and as many millions of our foreign guests return to our fascinating cities, resorts and beaches, they will continue to feel the warmth of Turkish hospitality and the strength of Turkish democracy.

Reha Keskintepe is Turkey’s ambassador to Malta


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