In Turkey after the military coup of 15 July arrests and the dismissal of officials, military and businessmen whom the authorities suspect of involvement in the organization of the Hizmet Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen. Is the Hizmet organization of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the organizer of a failed coup. Erdogan calls on U.S. to extradite to the homeland of the disgraced preacher. The US state Department saw necessary, the extradition of gülen evidence of guilt. Himself the preacher responsible for organizing the coup and does not recognize promises to return to Turkey on their own, if at least partially be proven guilty. It is possible that the coup was attended by Gulen’s supporters in the army, but outside of large-scale arrests and purges in Turkey is reminiscent of the implementation of the Stalinist principle of collective responsibility.
At the same time, Turkey’s relations with the EU and the United States worsened: Ankara unhappy with the accusations of the EU in the torture of prisoners and statements about the unacceptability of the resumption of the death penalty, as well as the reluctance of the US to extradite Gulen of Turkey. Against this background, is the restoration of relations between Turkey and Russia – 9 August, President Erdogan met with Vladimir Putin, who has promised to gradually remove the sanctions imposed in November 2015 after the destruction of the Turkish air force Russian bomber.
The position of the opponents of Erdogan widely known, however, a significant part of Turkish society supports it. Why? The look of the sentiment in Turkey from the inside? What he thinks about the events business, the military, the middle class? ЛІГА.net asked about this founder and CEO of the largest company in the field of CRM and loyalty marketing in Turkey Ketchup Group Yalcin, Onur.
– How do you assess recent developments in Turkey? Why there was a coup attempt?
Now Turkey is struggling with the organization of Fethullah gülen, but in order to understand what is happening, you need to make an excursion into history and examine events in the context of the Second cold war, which is happening now. After the outbreak of the cold war, Turkey joined NATO (1952), army and intelligence were closely associated with the United States. The country began to receive assistance under the Marshall plan. The economy and financial system was very weak, and the Turkey was in need of this assistance. Our older people still remember powdered milk, which was sent from the United States.
The military, which the Americans called “our boys” in 1960, 1971 and 1980 have displaced government, if believed, that the country is going in the wrong direction, and, in my opinion, in connection with the influence of NATO. In fact, they enjoyed the struggle between right-wing and left-wing forces to implement these coups and the introduction of new political structures. All these years, the organization of Fethullah Gulen, created in the 1960-ies became stronger without interference in its activities, opened up more schools received more donations from businesses.
For a long time in matters of foreign policy Turkey followed the influence or decisions of the United States. For the first time differences with the US emerged during the first Gulf war in 1991. Turkish President Turgut Ozal (1989-1993) wanted to participate in ground operations against Iraq, but the military was against it, and Supreme commander of the army Necip Torumtay resigned. In the end, Turkey provided the airfields in its territory and kept troops on the border. It was the first time our country was not fully agree with the American strategy in the region.
The turning point came when on 1 March 2003 the Turkish Parliament refused to participate in a new military operation against Iraq. Many deputies from the Party of justice and development Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which came to power, refused the American offer of participation in the operation. This disrupted the US plans showed that the Turkish Parliament and ruling party in particular, does not agree with US policy in the region. And on 4 July of the same year the incident occurred on a Turkish military base in Iraq (Turkish military in Northern Iraq appeared in 1996, after the territory finally came under control of Saddam Hussein and came under the control of the Kurds, – ed.), when the U.S. military captured several Turkish military, they wore bags on their heads and released only after 60 hours after the protests Erdogan. It was the beginning of reckoning for the Turkish military because they did not support the us policy. This has worsened the relations between Turkey and the United States.
Meanwhile, the penetration of the Gulen organization in state institutions had increased, thanks to the help from outside Turkey. During the conflict with the United States in 2003, his organization remained silent, but the story of the attempted coup on 15 July began then. First, Gulen supported Erdogan. The first split was visible during the election of 2011, and it consisted in the distribution of seats and power in the government. Then the prosecutors, which, as we understand it now was from the organization of Gulen, wanted to question the head of intelligence. Shortly before prosecutors and judges associated with the Gulen organization, organized psychological war against the army in the cases Ergenekon and Balyoz. They got fired from the army, the most Patriotic and able generals. But in 2011-2012, the increase went to officers who were graduates of gülen schools. Without any doubt, these events were interrelated and the organization of the Gulen threatened Turkey’s national security.
It is, in fact, a private intelligence organization, which has an older brother, gülen, everyone knows it, but the other members rarely know each other. It’s an invisible and secret organization, which for 40 years has introduced his people into politics, the army, courts, prosecution, education. She gathered critical intelligence about Turkey, and we don’t know who this information came forth
In December 2013, prosecutors and police connected with gülen went openly to a confrontation with Erdogan, organizing case on charges of corruption of his Ministers and son. It was an attack to reduce the power of Erdogan and his party. The government has taken action against the Gulen organization, closing its schools and Newspapers. And if not there was a coup attempt on 15 July, I think Turkey have been unable to clear state institutions of the henchmen of the organization gülen.
It is, in fact, a private intelligence organization, which has an older brother, gülen, everyone knows it, but the other members rarely know each other. It’s an invisible and secret organization, which for 40 years has introduced his people into politics, the army, courts, prosecution, education. She gathered critical intelligence about Turkey, and we don’t know who this information came next. The government spent huge money for the salaries of these officials, who had worked for Gulen, we pay taxes to provide these people.
But at the same time this organization provided education to poor people.
Is the education provided to achieve certain goals. Children from poor families were taken out, and then implemented in public institutions. The Gulen organization had access to the answers to important exams for admission to military service, the police, government institutions, and gave them to his people. Stealing answers to exams is a horrible crime. Having a huge number of judges and prosecutors in their ranks, they took the best decisions in some court cases. It is thousands of cases. And now the question is what to do with their judicial verdicts. Offenders may say: these verdicts made by the judges-terrorists.
Gulen’s supporters waited 40 years to make a revolution. On 15 July they tried to shoot up Parliament to overthrow and capture of our President. Now the government is trying to rid the country of this organization, as nobody knows how many people is in it. The attempted coup was very bloody and shocking event. No matter you support or not the Turkish President, nobody has the right to overthrow him. And I think, for this organization, with its financial resources may not be the only preacher.
The Gulen organization is not loved by all patriots of Turkey. I think that all Turks, regardless of political affiliation, understand that these people have committed crimes and betrayal of our country. It was a clear action against the Turkish nation. And society needs to trust the leadership of the state in such circumstances.
– Are there proof of guilt Gulen and why responsibility for the revolution is not personal but collective? In a very short period of time, there have been thousands of dismissals and arrests, and it is similar to the application of the principle of collective responsibility for cleaning.
– Our government has collected many documents in this case and to send them to US for extradition of Gulen to Turkey. A key factor in this case is the political influence of the USA and legal process in this country.
We will see a more profound investigation, will be discovered more links, we will see more arrests and the freezing of personal accounts and the accounts of companies and businessmen who were involved in her support
I think now we are seeing the first phase of arrests in the public sector and public institutions, which already applies to companies under investigation on suspicion of providing financial assistance to this terrorist organization. We will see a more profound investigation, will be discovered more links, we will see more arrests and the freezing of personal accounts and the accounts of companies and businessmen who were involved in her support (the organization of the Gulen – ed.)
– What are the consequences of the attempted coup of 15 July was for Turkish foreign policy?
The government is currently conducting a review of foreign policy. Worsened relations with Europe. Turkey can’t get into the European Union. And let’s face it, Turkey will become an EU member. Can you imagine the European Union having a common border with Iran and Syria, Iraq? It’s impossible. We can be a partner in what is going to be for EU UK. Over the past 25 years, the support of the Turkish citizens of EU accession decreases. In particular, because this membership we are waiting for decades, we expose all new and new requirements, and we understand that it will not end.
Let’s face it, Turkey will become an EU member. We can be a partner in what is going to be for EU UK. Over the past 25 years, the support of the Turkish citizens of EU accession decreases. We put all new and new requirements, and we understand that it will not end.
– Turkey is ready to stop the negotiations about EU membership?
– I think Yes, it is on the agenda. We will never enter the EU as a full partner. The deadline for Turkey’s accession to the EU has already passed. And relations with the EU after a coup attempt will not be exactly the same.
The majority of European countries, told about the coup, nothing. When it comes to human rights, the teaching of Turkish democracy and how to be civilized, all speak about it immediately and loudly. But in the case of the attempted coup there was no such reaction. Our government, the President, the Parliament and the faithful of the country, the military played a role in the preservation of a democratic regime. Our President is accused of aspiration to dictatorship, although he that night of the coup played an important role in preserving our democracy. And since the Europeans did not protest against the coup, now in Turkey deteriorated relative to the EU.
But many Europeans negatively evaluate Erdogan on the basis of its desire for more authority and Islamist views.
– He’s more conservative than all previous presidents, that’s for sure, but we should not call him an Islamist. Turkey is the only democratic country in the Muslim world, and this attempted coup was an important test for Turkish democracy. I never voted for Erdogan and his Party of justice and development, but after the attempted coup of July 15, I trust him and the ruling party and other parties in the restructuring of the judiciary, army, security, education, and policy of the Turkish Constitution. Turkey is, in fact, is in the same starting point as in 1923, when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk created the Republic.
– How easy is it to do business in Turkey under the rule of Erdogan?
– It depends on the nature of your business – the business associated with government agencies has its own characteristics. Not all tenders are, because you need to hold them. But business in Turkey conduct much easier than in Ukraine and in several other countries. In Turkey, if you’re doing everything by the law, then everything is in order. Don’t need to have the support of the authorities to conduct business in our country. The Turkish government is very focused on the needs of the business, attracting investment, new technologies, subsidies to business. And we in the Turkish business community are confident that subsidies will be provided to those people who really add value.
Corruption over the last 20 years has become smaller. The peak was passed in 1990-ies. Turkey understands that if it is necessary to attract foreign investment, need a smaller level of corruption. And I think corruption will be further reduced.
In General, Turkey in economic terms, has made great progress in 13 years in power Erdogan.
– After the visit of President Erdogan to Russia, can we expect the formation of a closer partnership between Turkey and Russia?
– Turkey now in a new Cold war decides whether she wants to be one of the parties, or to take a neutral stance like Switzerland. It is very important that the relations between Turkey and Russia improved again. Business needs growth, it is very critical for the country because we lost a lot of markets.
Turkey is not going to be the only ally of Russia, but we have trade relations with Russia, and 70% of trade is with the EU. So you need to compromise with the EU and with Russia. We have a common energy projects with Russia, and they should be implemented
Turkey geographically is in a very difficult region, we have a different policy toward the West, Iran, China, Russia. The country has been trying for the last 15 years to find its place in the region to create real alliances. Turkey is not going to be the only ally of Russia, but we have trade relations with Russia, and 70% of trade is with the EU. So you need to compromise with the EU and with Russia. We have a common energy projects with Russia, and they should be implemented.
See also: Your interest. Why Turkey will not support sanctions against Russia
– Can Erdogan to recognize the annexation of Crimea and refuse to protect the rights of the Crimean Tatars?
I can’t speak for the government. But Turkey’s position about Crimea is that it is part of Ukraine and it should remain so. The time boundary changes had passed. All should respect the unity of Ukraine. But we must understand the real reasons why it happened. Now comes the second Cold war and still trying to defend their interests.
My personal opinion is Turkey should not be a member of a second Cold war. And no one needs to encourage it. We need to fight poverty, for better education, which is now not in the best condition, and not situated in the conflict
– Turkey should not be involved in this Cold war?
Yes. The previous generation saw a lot of very difficult events – the first world war, the world crisis, the second world war. A new generation and a new world order must be free from wars and conflicts, need to develop business and cultural integration. And my personal opinion is Turkey should not be a member of a second Cold war. And no one needs to encourage it. Each state needs to understand the risks. We need to fight poverty, for better education, which is now not in the best condition, and not situated in the conflict.
See also: the Big clean. What’s happening in Turkey after a coup attempt
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