July 15 coup attempt was no different than 9/11, Turkish diplomat says
by Ali Ünal
ANKARAJul 21, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Ali Ünal
Jul 21, 2016 12:00 am
Ayşe Sözen Usluer, the head of the Foreign Relations Department in the Turkish Presidency, criticized reactions by the international press to the failed coup attempt on July 15 by Gülenists, stressing that the international press focused on criticizing the government based on speculation and baseless claims, instead of reporting and condemning the violent crimes committed by the junta against innocent civilians. Usluer says the July 15 coup attempt was no different than 9/11.
Speaking with Daily Sabah, Usluer recalled how even in the very first moments, certain parties, clearly hoping the military coup would be successful, began spreading a ridiculous conspiracy theory: "It was stated that this coup might have been a scheme by President Erdoğan. Instead of assessing the ongoing situation, certain news outlets also concentrated on creating conspiracy theories concerning the future of Turkey." She emphasized: "When almost all of the people martyred during the coup were Erdoğan supporters, how can one allege that it was his scheme? The first locations attacked, including the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and the Police Special Operation Department (PÖH), report directly to the government and protect Erdoğan. Does it make sense that someone seeking to acquire more power would damage the institutions that provide protection?" Recalling that international politicians, including deputies, senators and representatives, posted irresponsible messages on Twitter, Usluer said: "U.S. Senator Dick Black wrote, 'Good news of the day: Military attempting to oust Turkish dictator.' U.S. House of Representatives member Brad Sherman posted on Twitter: 'Military takeover in Turkey will hopefully lead to real democracy – not Erdoğan authoritarianism,' expecting a democracy to emerge from a coup."
She added that not all politicians were irresponsible: "There were, nonetheless, leaders who showed their support for Turkey's legitimate government. We acknowledge their efforts. Still this is a challenge that shows one's commitment to democratic values." Regarding conspiracy theorists who assert that the attempted coup was a "false flag" operation orchestrated by President Erdoğan, Usluer replied: "Does Erdoğan lack power, so he needs to resort to such schemes to increase his hold? It is obvious who are those fighting against Erdoğan to acquire power. Unfortunately, international media cannot leave politics aside and simply condemn the attempted coup. The international press has shown an overtly anti-Erdoğan attitude regarding this event. Some of the headlines you may find through a quick scan: 'Erdoğan gained power, democracy weakened,' 'Coup is a gift to Erdoğan,' 'Erdoğan more powerful after the failed coup'." Pointing out that the Presidential Complex was one of the first locations attacked by the putschist soldiers, she theorized: "In our opinion, the junta didn't want to destroy the palace, but to capture it, as it offers a strategic advantage. Perhaps they wanted to use the compound as headquarters for the junta administration."