The Italy part of the online seminar series titled "15 Panels on July 15th" organized by the Directorate of Communications was broadcast.
Turkey's Ambassador to Rome Murat Salim Esenli, Italy's former Ambassador to Ankara Carlo Marsili, Assoc. Prof. Valeria Giannotta and Assoc. Prof. Hasan Basri Yalçın attended the panel that was conducted via video conferencing method.
Stating that this session brought online on the 4th anniversary of the treacherous coup attempt was held right on time, Turkey's Ambassador to Rome Esenli wished Allah’s mercy upon the martyrs and a good recovery to the veterans.
Expressing that FETO uses the features of the open society and all the possibilities served by technology to achieve its wicked goals, Esenli said, "FETO can be evaluated as a new generation terrorist organization."
Esenli called attention to the fact that although FETO tried to promote itself as a charity organisation to the international society, that was not the case, and Turkey’s effort to inform the related country of this organisation increased awareness and the extradition of the offenders affiliated with FETO had been requested.
Expressing that there is a deep understanding in Italy, Esenli called upon other European countries not to repeat the same mistake they made in their approach towards the PKK terrorist organization with FETO.
"Turkey's foreign policy was misjudged"
Italy's former Ambassador to Ankara Carlo Marsili thanked the Directorate of Communications for organising such an important event on the anniversary of July 15 and inviting him.
Voicing that the foreign policy pursued by Turkey was misjudged by Italy and the world, Marsili said, "July 15 is a day that must be recognised by everyone supporting the democracy in the world."
Marsili elucidated that Turkey had to carry out an operation to fight against PKK in Syria and enable the return of the refugees, and Europe should support Turkey especially for the refugee situation in northern Syria.
Marsili, noting the need to renew the Customs Union agreement, said, "Visa liberalization with the EU is of great importance in terms of economic integration. This will reveal a win-win situation for everyone. I think an open dialogue with Turkey will be in the strategic interest of the EU in the short term."
"We witnessed how the Turkish people united"
Reflecting that he was in Turkey on the unfortunate night, the Turkish Aeronautical Association University International Relations Department Faculty Member Giannotta stated, "Everyone was shocked with this. But afterwards, we were happy to see the Turkish people unite together against the coup attempt."
Stating that Italy-Turkey relations were very strong and the two countries experienced similar problems on international arena, Giannotta said, "Mutual sympathy is what matters in bilateral relations. The Italian government did not hesitate to demonstrate solidarity with Turkey on July 15, 2016. Turkey reciprocated the same solidarity by donating supplies to Italy during the Covid-19 period."
Pointing out that the Covid-19 caused the worst experience for Italy after the Second World War, Valeria Giannotta said, "I, as an Italian who lives in Turkey, felt so emotional when Turkey sent aid. This is because Turkey was one of the first comers in help while Europe was nowhere around. This is the evidence of the strong relations."
Pointing out that the strong economic relations are also well maintained between Turkey and Italy despite the pandemic, Giannotta said, "The fact that Silvia Romano, an Italian aid worker, was saved shows clearly the extent to which Italy and Turkey are able to collaborate. It is a win-win relationship between the two countries."
"Recent experiences bring about new understandings"
Hasan Basri Yalçın, a faculty member at Political Science and International Relations Department, İstanbul Commerce University, also noted that the July 15 was one of the most dramatic incidents for the Turkish nation.
Yalçın stated that Turkey's experiences over the last five years relating to the coup attempt in particular, Syria and other issues had brought about new understandings for the Turkish nation and in Turkey's foreign policy.
Noting that Turkey was left alone on the Syria issue, Yalçın added:
"Please recall, almost every week in the 2013-2016 period, Turkey had to face terrorist attacks. Their perpetrators were based in Syria. Following Turkey's military interventions, such attacks stopped. It was Turkey that cleared it all. All these enabled Turkish nation to come up with the thesis, "If you are ever going to have to do something, you have to do it on your own." We observed that some countries worked to reach secret agreements among themselves regarding the Mediterranean after the Syria issue. Turkey, as one of the countries with the longest coastal line in the Mediterranean, will never accept it."
Murat Pazarbaşı, the session's moderator and Press Counsellor at the Turkish Embassy in Rome, noted that he, as a journalist, followed the developments in front of the Parliament and the General Staff Headquarters on July 15, 2016, and added, "I am one of the immediate eyewitnesses of the incidents FETO perpetrated that dark night. I saw helicopters opening fire at the people and tanks running over cars. It is not possible to forget those even today."