The France part of the webinar series, “15 Panels on July 15th”, organized by the Directorate of Communications, was streamed online.
The panel held via video conference was moderated by Prof. Murat Yeşiltaş, Director of Security Studies of the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), and attended by İsmail Hakkı Musa, Turkish Ambassador to Paris, and Charles Saint-Prot, Director-General of Paris Observatory of Geopolitical Studies.
Ambassador Musa said that coup attempts should be tackled wherever they take place.
Musa said, “(Regarding July 15 coup attempt) Those terrorists tried to replace the concept of the state with their own destructive ideologies. I think that was the original purpose of this coup attempt. We cannot ignore this. Their aim was to topple the established political order and seize the state structures”, adding that the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) instrumentalized and abused the religious beliefs of people.
Noting that the measures taken in Turkey after the coup attempt were criticized by Western European countries, Musa stated the following: “They said that NATO's second army has weakened. Definitely, that did not happen. The developments in the aftermath of the coup attempt showed that when those people were dismissed and expelled, our armed forces and our political order have strengthened in general. They have even started to take more initiatives at home and abroad.”
“Our friends and allies do not recognize FETO as a terrorist”
Indicating that the will of the people had a very determining role in taking the coup attempt under control, Musa said: “Our friends and allies (Europe and France) do not recognize FETO as a terrorist organization.”
“When their territorial integrity and political structures are at stake and the constitutional order is targeted, the response of the states to this is largely the same, they act similarly. At this point, I would like to invite our European friends to empathize a little more. I would like to ask them to listen more closely to what we say” said Musa.
Emphasizing that in the light of recent developments it was understood the fates of Europe and Turkey were interdependent; Musa added that both sides would benefit from the cooperation they make.
Musa said: “Turkey is an indispensable partner for Europe. I would like to underline this.”
Pointing out that the European Union (EU) cannot put itself forward as a political power without including Turkey in its structure, Musa stated that it was still possible.
“Gülen showed his true face”
Charles Saint-Prot said that a coup was an existing minority’s attempt to overthrow a government, and they resort to illegal means to achieve it.
Saint-Prot said, “A coup attempt was staged in Turkey. Fethullah Gülen’s movement was its mastermind. This coup attempt failed because the legitimate government has mobilized the public and received their support. This is an important factor. It was also significant that a certain part of the army was on the side of democracy”, indicating that these incidents should no longer occur in Turkey.
Saint-Pro said, “Gülen showed his true face. In other words, the dictator showed his face as an enthusiastic movement leader.”
Emphasizing that this coup attempt had been averted by the Turkish people, Saint-Prot stated the following: “Some countries did not show the necessary and appropriate approach. We need to use a single discourse to protect democracy. There is no good coup or bad coup. I wish some European countries, especially France, had used a more precise and clear language to condemn Gülen's coup attempt. This (coup attempt) was a big threat to Turkey. It had the risk of dragging the country into instability.”
Saint-Prot stressed that it should be welcomed that the Turkish government averted the coup attempt.
Expressing that Westerners should use a clearer language in this regard, Saint-Prot said, “This coup attempt is said to have weakened the army. The army lost some of its staff but Turkey came out of it stronger. Those who avert the coups come out of them stronger.”
Saint-Prot added it had to be underlined that Western countries were not honest towards Turkey.
“I think the Turkish people showed that they are prideful and strong”
Expressing that there were no doubts that Turkey was faced with a coup attempt, Saint-Prot stated the following:
“The coup attempt was averted and the constitutional order prevailed. Everyone should welcome this. Turkey needs a strong Turkey. Turkish people are kind but not stupid. I think the Turkish people have shown that they are prideful and strong. People need to be proud of Turkey's stance. The world needs a strong and stable Turkey.”
Reiterating that the PKK was a terrorist organization and was recognized as such by the US and the EU, Saint-Prot said, “Turkey is criticized when it takes an initiative against this organization. Turkey was accused when it intervened in Libya. Russia and the US are more involved there. They are not Mediterranean countries, but Turkey is a Mediterranean country.”
“In its structure, the EU should involve Turkey which we very much need”
Emphasizing that Turkey was in Libya upon the request of the legitimate government, Saint-Prot said, “We need Turkey. We need Turkey in NATO. We need Turkey for the stabilization of the region and the Middle East. "
Saint-Prot said that France had to reconstruct its relations with Turkey.
Charles Saint-Prot made the following remarks:
“Turkey is an indispensable partner (for Europe). We have to work together. We need to serve our common interests. We need Turkey and Turkey needs us. The cooperation between the EU countries and Turkey is essential. The EU should symbolically do more and demonstrate its willpower in this regard and involve Turkey in its structure, which we very much need.”