This year we commemorate the sixth anniversary of the failed coup attempt in Türkiye thwarted by courageous sacrifices of the Turkish people. This coup attempt was the worst act of terror witnessed in the history of Türkiye. It will never be forgotten.
Civilians protesting the coup attempt were shot at on the night of 15 July 2022. 251 people were murdered that night when lethal military power was unleashed against innocent civilians. Fighter planes and attack helicopters bombed the capital city of Ankara. The coup plotters targeted public and private communication outlets, including the state broadcaster TRT and CNN Türk.
All evidence gathered throughout the various investigations and trials demonstrates that the bloodiest terrorist attack in the history of our country was orchestrated by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization FETÖ under the orders of its leader Fetullah Gülen.
We have an extensive collection of factual evidence including video footage, digital materials, satellite communications among plotters, the confessions of FETÖ members who actively participated in the attempted coup and the statements of those Turkish officers that resisted the coup plotters that night.
In the aftermath of the coup attempt, combatting FETÖ inside and outside of Türkiye has been one our main priorities. FETÖ affiliated schools and education centres in 45 countries have been closed down or taken over by the authorities of the relevant countries.
FETÖ is now trying to survive by making use its organizations abroad as a lifeline. For this reason, fighting against the various structures of FETÖ abroad has become even more a necessity.
Unlawful acts carried out by FETÖ affiliated organizations have been revealed in a number of countries. FETÖ also has a history of abusing asylum mechanisms in certain countries. Applications made by their members are based on false allegations bring an unreasonable political, financial and social burden upon these countries.
Fetullah Gülen, the leader of this clandestine terrorist network, remains a serious threat to Türkiye as well as the international community. His disciples within the armed forces did not refrain from using lethal military force against innocent civilians. The crimes committed on the night of July 15th, however, were just the tip of an iceberg.
Their members have been involved in mass-scale fraud to infiltrate critical government posts. These FETÖ members abused their power to eliminate whoever opposed the organization, by illegal wiretapping, fabricating evidence, unlawful arrests, thereby intimidating and blackmailing a large segment of the society including politicians, businessmen, journalists, even athletes and artists among many.
Such illegal activities allowed FETÖ to grow and to infiltrate the state to the point that it was able to garner enough power to attempt a coup in Türkiye. What happened six years ago remains a warning of what FETÖ is capable of doing not only in Türkiye but in other parts of the world where the organization continues to remain active.
July 15 was a test of the strength and perseverance of the Turkish State, its people and its democratic values. All political parties of Türkiye, both in the government and the opposition, the loyal elements of the security forces, the civil society and media took a firm stance against this heinous attempt. It was the people of Türkiye, from all walks of life, of diverse political backgrounds who displayed a historic example of solidarity as they stood selflessly in front of the tanks and defended their democratic rights.