H. E. Mr. Akif Ayhan, ambassador of Turkey to Việt Nam, shares his thoughts on the domestic and international implications of the recent coup attempt in Turkey with Việt Nam News.
The latest coup attempt in Turkey was carried out by a faction of military plotters linked to the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organisation (FETÖ), which wants to topple the democratically elected government and crumble the constitutional order in Turkey.
A self-exiled Turkish cleric into the US, Gülen leads a large number of faithful disciples across the globe, masterminds a secretive scheme of activists to build and grow their own axis of power in as many countries as possible.
Thanks to the democratic resolve of our state and our people, the coup attempt failed, or rather, was foiled. Democratic order has prevailed. Public authority has been reinstated. The government is in full charge.
We are determined to bring to justice the perpetrators of the coup attempt.
Turkey is among the founding members of the Council of Europe which sets the highest universal standards in respect of human rights, the rule of law and democracy. The Turkish judicial system functions in full observance of its obligations under the UN human rights conventions, European Convention and Court of Human Rights.
Therefore, suspects will be duly and swiftly investigated, prosecuted and punished as appropriate in accordance with the law. Charges and sentences will be determined by Turkish courts. This process will be conducted in full respect of fundamental rights and freedoms on the basis of the rule of law.
Back to normal
Although the unsuccessful coup d’etat is a turning point in the recent history of our country, regular activities within the parliamentarian sphere and multiple party political regime will resume.
Our society will try to heal its wounds. A consensus-based inclusive approach will be observed to safeguard national unity and territorial integrity.
On the other hand, the State apparatus will have to get rid of any subversive cliques and factions operating as if they were a parallel State within the State.
This ’purge’ or ’purification’, with due consideration for the rule of law, is a must if our country is to regain access to a reasonable degree of normality - free from the interference of sectarian networks which used to run quite a few private businesses, such as educational facilities at home and abroad.
Our economy will not be derailed. Turkey has been one of the world`s better performing emerging markets. Growth rate was 4.5 per cent in 2015. The coup might cause fluctuations on the markets, but the impact will be limited.
The Central Bank of Turkey now offers unlimited liquidity to banks. The Government is in charge and there is no need to worry. Our country is quickly returning to normal after this putsch attempt rebuffed by our nation.
Impact on foreign relations
Turkey is part of several Western and European organisations. It is a pivotal member of NATO and a close accession partner of the EU. Turkey is an indispensable ally in the region for handling issues like Syria and the migration crisis. Turkish stability in a volatile area is of tremendous importance.
Turkey, with almost 80 million inhabitants, is a complex country. Turkish society is dynamic and pluralistic, and therefore much more sophisticated today. This picture is sometimes not easy to grasp in its entirety for foreign observers, who tend to see everything in black or white.
Despite all our efforts and very transparent media reporting, we are quite frustrated by certain distorted comments and spinning/lip service paid by certain foreign politicians and media outlets. While we want to believe that these sorts of biased and prematurely judgmental comments do not reflect the official stance of the Governments of our Western and European partners, subjective and speculative opinions might mislead public opinion and prove detrimental to relations.
But the latest developments will not nullify the commitments of Turkey vis-a-vis Europe and the US.
The EU currently faces serious challenges, with Brexit and the immigration issue.
While considering new forms of flexible and effective cooperative integration, the EU had better not lose sight of the principle of inclusiveness, which is a key word for integration and globalisation processes.
Under the current circumstances, it is true the EU faces some tough choices on the issue of immigration which appears to have a growing impact on the political level.
From the perspective of Turkey, we have a set of arrangements with the EU regarding readmission of irregular migrants and unjustified asylum-seekers. A visa exemption is also being contemplated for Turkish citizens. Since March this year, the flow of such irregular migrants and unjustified asylum seekers has been in massive decline as a result of Turkey`s good-will endeavours. Turkey is hosting 3 million people who fled their country of origin, in particular Syrians.
Regardless of what happened recently in Turkey, our authorities will remain faithful to and honour any commitments made to our partners in the field of immigration. Yet implementation of a burden-sharing policy is being delayed, due to slow action on the part of the EU. Progress towards visa exemption is also not so fast track. Our connection to the EU goes far back in time. Our basic vocation and willingness to join the EU has not been altered.
For the ideal of European integration not to stumble or weaken, it is in the interest of the EU to work on and apply manageable solutions for Brexit, to support and help Turkey with regard to preservation of the constitutional order and stability, and to properly address the issue of immigration.
The groundwork has also been laid in recent weeks to restore our ties with Russia and Israel. Russia has been a major partner for Turkey in terms of trade, contracting, energy supplies and people-to-people contacts focusing on holiday-making by Russians in Turkey as a favourite destination.
Reconciliation under way with Russia will not only be mutually beneficial for economic relations but also will open a new window of opportunity in improving handling of regional conflicts.