Turkey to protect its democratic values, not because the West enforces them, President says

Published 16.08.2016 00:00
Updated 16.08.2016 18:03
emAA Photo/em
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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that no Western leader has visited Turkey since the failed July 15 coup attempt, stressing that Turkey will protect its democracy and supremacy of law in spite of this. "We do not defend these values because the West enforces them, but because our people are worthy of these values," Erdoğan said.

Speaking at a meeting with Turkish Bar Association President Metin Feyzioğlu and a bar committee of 70 members accompanying him on Tuesday, Erdoğan criticized Western leaders for their attitudes in the wake of the coup attempt. "When they call, they ask about the state of the putschists rather than [the state of our nation]," Erdoğan said. He also slammed Amnesty International for what he called its subjective reporting on the attempted coup: "Instead of making these statements, you should come and see what happened, how people were killed here," adding that Amnesty International as an institution cannot be respected as long as it acts on what it hears.

In a press conference following the meeting, Feyzioğlu commented on the fight against the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ): "The basics of our government's actions and operations are in compliance with the law." Stressing that it is Turkey's responsibility to warn the world of FETÖ's dangerous nature, Feyzioğlu said that the Turkish Bar Association is ready to form a working group to expose FETÖ at international platforms. Feyzioğlu alo added that Turkey wants to actively participate in the International Bar Association meeting that will be held in the U.S.

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ said that the coup attempt was repelled under Erdoğan's leadership, adding that all institutions, including the judiciary, Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, State Audit Court and Feyzioğlu all stand against the July 15 coup attempt. Bozdağ also said that the legal fight against FETÖ began that night and that it is still ongoing, adding that the priority of the Turkish judiciary in the ensuing process should be to perform its duties in independently and objectively.

The meeting which was held at the Presidential Complex was the first between Erdoğan and Feyzioğlu in 27 months, as part of the spirit of solidarity following the failed July 15 coup attempt. In the meeting held on May 10, 2014, in which Feyzioğlu delivered an anomalously long speech that led Erdoğan to walk out of the building, was held on the 146th anniversary of the Council of State.

Due to the recent messages of solidarity given by President Erdoğan, the meeting with Feyzioğlu is considered one of the steps being taken within the current atmosphere of unity and solidarity. Recently speaking at the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) 15th anniversary celebrations last Sunday, President Erdoğan said, "We can no longer act like we did before July 15. None of us can; including myself, as the president [of Turkey]."

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