important years have passed since the 15th of July coup attempt carried out by
the FETO terrorist organization.
The 15th of July coup attempt was
planned by the FETO leadership and carried out by members of the organization,
whom infiltrated into our army by disobeying the chain of command of the armed
forces. This heinous act constitutes the deadliest terrorist attack that Turkey
has ever experienced.
We have never before witnessed
such savagery and treachery in our history as the one exhibited by the
perpetrators of this coup attempt: our Parliament Building, the Presidential
complex, the building of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT),
buildings of the Turkish National Police, the Headquarters of the Police
Special Operations Department located in Ankara were bombed by rogue pilots.
Tanks were driven to the streets
to mow down innocent civilians, while helicopters and jets dropped bombs from
the air and shot everyone in sight. The Fetullahist traitors disguised as
soldiers did not shy away from bombing their brothers-in-arms. It has not been
possible to reach the bodies of fifty-one police officers who were martyred as
a result of intense bombing that targeted the Police Special Operations
Department Headquarters in our Capitol city, Ankara.
That night, two hundred and fifty
one citizens were killed and more than two thousand people were injured.
The 15th of July coup attempt
revealed the grave threat posed by the FETO terrorist organization against our
State. In order to fully understand all aspects of the 15th of July coup
attempt, it is imperative to consider this dark network, beginning from schools
and prep schools established over the last few decades by FETO. By brainwashing
young minds at schools founded under the disguise of so-called training
activities, they indoctrinated a large group of radical followers, who carried
out the instructions of the organization’s leadership unquestioningly and
violated all legal and moral norms.
Graduates of these schools were
able to infiltrate the most critical institutions of the State by stealing exam
questions; furthermore, those considered as an obstacle to the organization
were treacherously eliminated as FETO conspired against them.
FETO strengthened its economic
and political influence by abusing the State’s resources and authority for the
vile interests of the organization. On the 15th of July, we were able to grasp
the sheer size of the secret structure established by FETO within our most
critical institution, the Turkish Armed Forces.
The Turkish people who have stood
against this horrific threat have fervently and courageously demonstrated to
the world that they did not recognize any power over their will and stood ready
to sacrifice their lives to protect their State and the democratic system.
In the past three years, the
fight against FETO both inside and outside Turkey has constituted one of the
main priorities of our State. Within Turkey, our efforts are being conducted
under three pillars:
Firstly, on the basis of the rule
of law, the perpetrators of the 15th of July coup attempt have been brought to
Secondly, FETO’s organizational
structure within governmental institutions has been unveiled; administrative
and judicial procedures have been initiated against its members and hence the
“parallel state structure” has been brought down.
Thirdly, apart from those within
the governmental institutions, FETO’s attempts to spread across all areas of
the economy via its shell entities, particularly in the education, media and
banking sectors, have been thwarted.
Despite facing extraordinary
security challenges, we have been able to successfully conduct our fight at
home in compliance with the principles of the rule of law and fundamental
rights and freedoms. We have also expended efforts to avoid grievances and
established new mechanisms to examine and settle alleged grievances.
As these developments took place,
FETO has undergone a significant transformation. The organization, which lost
its backbone in Turkey, is now trying to survive by making use of its structure
abroad. Thus, fighting against the structures of FETO abroad has gained
The fight against FETO structures
abroad has been among the top priorities of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign
The main objective of our efforts
is to demonstrate and prove the fact that FETO also poses a threat to the
security of other countries where it remains active. In this regard, the
concrete examples gathered indicate that FETO does not hesitate to violate laws
by acting almost like an secretive intelligence service and points out to the
fact that it aims to establish political and economic zones of influence that
permits the creation of structures similar to those in Turkey in other
countries that it has spread to since the 1990s.
Moreover, we have taken
administrative measures and initiated legal proceedings to limit the
maneuvering space of the FETO terrorist organization abroad and to prevent its
members from transferring money and escaping justice. Within the scope of
investigations conducted in Turkey, we have requested the extradition of the
main ringleaders of the structures of FETO abroad from the countries where
these persons are located.
The Turkish Maarif Foundation
(TMF) maintains its activities all around the world to prevent any shortfalls
resulting from the steps taken against FETO, especially in the field of
With the contribution of our
missions abroad that implement intensive efforts within the framework
summarized above, we are gaining traction and getting concrete results.
Most importantly, the
international community is gradually understanding that FETO is not a social
movement that engages with education and charity, contrary to the way it tries
to portray itself, but rather a dark and insidious organization with political
and economic ambitions. A clear awareness regarding the characteristics of the
organization has developed among public opinions abroad.
Various countries and
international organizations have declared FETO as a terrorist organization. In
this context, FETO was declared as a terrorist organization in the 43rd session
of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC held on Oct 19, 2016; a similar
resolution was written at the Asian Parliamentary Assembly on Dec 1, 2016 and
ratified at the 12th Conference of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC on Jan
27, 2017. In addition to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the Supreme
Court of Pakistan declared FETO a terrorist organization with the verdict
rendered on Dec 28, 2018.
The awareness raised regarding
FETO in third countries has also stimulated closer monitoring and investigation
of the activities related to these elements by the officials of the
aforementioned countries. Unlawful acts carried out by FETO-affiliated
organizations have thus been revealed in various countries. The members of the
organization have been deported accordingly. In addition to those deported to
third countries, more than one hundred and ten FETO members from over twenty
countries have been extradited to Turkey.
TMF has taken over FETO
affiliated schools in eighteen countries. The activities of FETO affiliated
schools and language courses have been terminated in thirty-six countries.
Our efforts have increased the
pressure on the members of the organization living abroad and there has been a
serious constriction within the structuring of the organization abroad along
with its capabilities. The number of FETO members attempting to escape the
countries in which they are active has been on the rise, particularly in
Africa, as well as Turkey.
While experiencing a visible
disruption in its global network, the organization still strives to make up
victimization stories by resorting to unfounded news through the use of their
existing media outlets. It also attempts to strengthen cooperation with circles
hostile to Turkey by using PR and lobbying methods.
Our efforts for fully eliminating
the structures of FETO abroad constitutes a long-term fight. The Turkish
Government will resolutely maintain its efforts in that regard.
We appreciate the solidarity and
cooperation that Kuwait demonstrated from the first moment of the failed coup.
By Ayse Hilal Sayan Koytak
Ambassador of the Republic of
Turkey in Kuwait