Turkey held a virtual panel in London to mark the fourth anniversary of the July 15 defeated coup in the country, which was carried out by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) in 2016.
The Turkish Communications Directorate panel on Sunday was moderated by Murat Yeşiltaş from the Political, Economic and Social Research Foundation (SETA) think tank based in the Turkish capital Ankara, with speakers including Turkey's Ambassador to London Ümit Yalçin, head of Turkey's delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Ahmet Berat Çonkar, Professor William Hale and political scientist Bruno Macaes.
Yalçın said that it is important for the international community to understand the impact and repercussions of the defeated coup.
"In the aftermath of the coup attempt, we didn't get support or empathy from the international community, especially from our Western allies. And this created a trust problem," Yalçın said, adding that this mistrust in the Turkish public is deep.
But Britain was an exception, he said, as they immediately sent Alan Duncan, then-minister of state for Europe and the Americas, to Turkey after the defeated coup. "They condemned the coup attempt and they showed their support and solidarity with Turkey," Yalçın said.
Speaking on the effects of the 2016 attempt, Yalçın said: "That night, four years ago, the main target for the terrorist organization was legitimacy. They were against the legitimate parliament, legitimate president, the legitimate rights of the people in Turkey."
The defeated coup attempt's effects on Turkish foreign policy were also discussed in the panel, as Hale, who authored the book Turkish Foreign Policy 1774-2000, underlined the latest situation in Syria and Turkey's policy in the region.
Çonkar said the defeated coup influenced both Turkish domestic politics and foreign policy.
"Just after the coup attempt Turkey was able to carry out very critical anti-terror operations," he said, referring to its three operations in northern Syria, across Turkey's border, to make the region safe from terror groups.
Çonkar added that Turkey wasn't able to carry out such operations before the defeated coup.
"This shows that ridding the army of FETÖ-affiliated members actually gave the Turkish army more confidence to carry out a more decisive kind of operation outside of Turkey," he explained.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the coup, which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.
FETÖ was also behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
Since 2016, Turkey has launched a trio of successful anti-terrorist operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of locals: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018) and Peace Spring (2019).
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