Deluded U.S. creates disillusionment

THE EDITORIAL BOARD
ISTANBUL
Published 03.08.2016 23:46
Updated 04.08.2016 00:17

Turkey is still trying to come to grips with what happened on its longest night. Every new day brings new information, documents and evidence to light. The entire nation is trying to decrypt and make sense of the danger it faced on July 15. The Turkish nation, contrary to the American media, never surrendered to the coup plotters. The moment the tanks rolled onto the streets, each and every political leader, from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım to all opposition leaders, were clear about what they thought of the military coup. The Turkish nation and politicians despite their diversity of perspectives united under the same goal. Not a single politician was confused about what was at stake, unlike U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The Turkish nation clearly showed that it has no tolerance for Fethullah Gülen or the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ) he leads. No one in Turkey sees the group or its leader as a political or social force of consequence. However, CNN International, soon after interviewing President Erdoğan, deemed it appropriate to offer the floor to Gülen so that he could express himself as if his words can make all the deaths he caused disappear. It is obvious that U.S. media is confused about who the Turkish nation's real representatives are. It seemingly fails to distinguish between the elected representatives and murderers of ordinary Turks. U.S. media organs are portraying the democratic government of Turkey as equivalent to the members of a terrorist group, showing how little they think of free and fair elections in Turkey. Many times, we, as Daily Sabah, and most Turks, saw the remarks of the president of the Republic of Turkey taking up the same amount of space as senior commander of the PKK, Cemil Bayık, on the front pages of The New York Times, which evidently fail to differentiate between the head of state of a NATO ally and the leader of a group the U.S. recognizes as a terrorist organization.

The belated visit by U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford, more than two weeks after the coup attempt and the conspicuous lack of visits by officials from EU countries, prove how lonely Turkish democracy is. Dunford himself visited the bombed sections of the Turkish Parliament during the visit. The nation, whose parliamentary representatives had to hold a session as the building was bombed, expected more from the U.S. The nation wants to see the U.S. standing by it. The obvious lack of compassion and unwillingness to stand by one's allies, in addition to the confused and confusing rhetoric by senior U.S. officials, are perceived as a blatant failure of the U.S. American officials should lend an ear to the U.K. ambassador to Turkey, Richard Moore, who said the July 15 coup attempt was the work of FETÖ, whose leader Americans continue to shelter. U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass, meanwhile, while not mentioning a word of FETÖ or its leader who currently lives in an expansive compound in Pennsylvania condemned the coup attempt in a very flip flop way. Rather than just meaningless diplomatic dribble, Turkey needs the U.S. to take tangible steps to demonstrate on whose side it is. Moreover, U.S. authorities, including the CIA, FBI and NSA, should share all the relevant information on the FETÖ network with their Turkish counterparts. U.S. should not risk losing a valuable friend just to help a known terrorist escape from justice. This is the least the U.S., as a strategic ally, should do, but the least is more than what Turkey has received until now.

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