On the sixth anniversary of the coup attempt by FETO, Türkiye is determined to struggle against terrorism upholding the optimum balance between democratic freedoms and security

Brüksel Büyükelçiliği 15.07.2022

Six years ago on July 15, the bloody coup attempt aiming to destroy our democracy and constitutional order was thwarted thanks to the unwavering stance and bravery of our nation. The perpetrators of the coup who had infiltrated in the military tried to assassinate our President and Prime Minister as well as ministers.

This was undoubtedly the bloodiest coup attempt the vast geography of the European continent ever faced since the end of the Cold War, causingthousands ofcasualties, 251 martyred, more than two thousand wounded.

All evidence collected throughout the investigations and trials unequivocally demonstrate that this heinous act was orchestrated by FETO, whose final aim was to transform the democratic Turkish state into a regime under the absolute rule of Fetullah Gülen as so-called the “Imam of the Universe”.

Despite the gravity of the crime committed and the brutality committed by this crime network, the legal processes initiated regarding the coup attempt and FETO entities were carried out within the framework of the democratic state of law where utmost care was given to international human rights obligations and to the principles of necessity, proportionality and legality.

Domestic remedies remain open to all judicial and administrative decisions taken in this process. As far as numerous court decisions taken in connection with the July 15 coup attempt are concerned, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has confirmed that the right to individual application to the Constitutional Court is an effective domestic remedy.

In addition to the existing domestic remedies, the Inquiry Commission on the State of Emergency Measures was established to examine the appeal applications against the administrative decisions taken during the State of Emergency. As of May 2022, the said-Commission issued verdicts in favour of the applicants for 17,265 of the applications. There is also the opportunity to appeal the decisions of the said Commission, which is recognized as an effective application channel by the ECtHR. We will continue our legitimate fight against FETO, as always, in line with universal legal standards in coordination and full transparency with all relevant international human rights bodies, notably the Council of Europe.

Even though the heinous coup attempt of July 15 of FETO was foiled by our nation's determined stance and its network in Türkiye has been taken down, FETO continues its activities abroad under different disguises. Its main purpose is to influence and manipulate the official authorities of the host country for political and economic gains which are to be used in activities against our country. The modus operandi of FETO abroad is to set up schools, businesses and NGO-like front organizations using "interfaith/intercultural dialogue”, "humanitarian aid" and "social solidarity" as cover in order to hide its real agenda and gain acceptance in the public opinion. Operating like a criminal syndicate and a clandestine intelligence organization, FETO is also an international threat to all the countries in which it operates.

Increasing awareness of the true nature of FETO in many countries and effective measures taken against its structures are indeed welcome developments. Closer monitoring of illegal activities of FETO-affiliated organizations have led to extraditions of FETO members as well as the closure of the related schools and associations. Several international organizations have adopted vital resolutions with regard to FETO as well. We expect all our friends and allies, including Belgium to be vigilant and take similar steps against this insidious structure that poses a threat to democracy and our common values. We invite them to increase judicial cooperation in extradition requests with Türkiye while showing utmost vigilance against the abuse of the asylum mechanisms by FETO elements sought by our judicial authorities.

In this context, we consider the latest NATO Summit in Madrid as an important turning point. In Madrid, Allies renewed their commitment to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Corollary to this, in the Madrid Summit Declaration Allies also welcomed the trilateral memorandum signed between Türkiye, Finland and Sweden, in which the latter two pledged inter alia to not support FETO and to address pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly. This was indeed an important step in the right direction. However, during these times of conflict and great instability in the international order, we expect all our friends and Allies to show greater solidarity with Türkiye in its struggle against FETO and other terrorist organizations.

Dr. Hasan Ulusoy

Ambassador of the Republic of Türkiye to the Kingdom of Belgium"