By Bashir Kazibwe Mbaziira
The Turks have recently commemorated the first anniversary of the foiled terrorist coup attempt of July 15.
An illegal and secretive faction within the Turkish Armed Forces, which was associated with the Fetullahist Terrorist Organisation (FETO), perpetrated this bloody coup attempt.
The victorious Turkish people quite rightfully celebrated this unprecedented victory afterwards through democracy rallies held in all Turkish cities with the participation of millions. Likewise, the Turkish citizens abroad followed suit by organising similar gatherings in countries where they reside. However, there was a traitor who didn't join them: Fetullah Gulen, leader of the FETO Terrorist Organisation. Although he now feigns to be against the coup attempt, his lies do not fool anyone, other than those who support his treacherous agenda.
One week after the coup attempt, Gulen invited some members of the press to his palace-like estate in Pennsylvania, the US and gave an interview during which he qualified the Turkish people celebrating their victory over the coup perpetrators as "fools" and criticised them saying "as if they had achieved a success". This was doubtlessly a big defeat for him and for his terrorist network, but apparently was a big success for the patriotic Turkish people. Indeed, his statement was an indirect confession of his role in the coup plot.
Gulen's discontent with the measures which have been taken by the Turkish government in the aftermath of the coup attempt stems from this very role. His criticism of dismissals of FETO-affiliated public servants is groundless. It should be borne in mind that FETO members, upon the instruction of Gulen, had been infiltrating Turkish public institutions via illegal means such as cheating in exams thanks to their fellow comrades in the bureaucracy, and that they had been serving not the interests of the Turkish State and nation, but those of FETO. Which state would condone the existence and activities of such a despicable and treacherous terrorist organisation in the state institutions? It is obvious that all states would take the harshest measures to eradicate such a virus.
FETO is also a notorious crime gang involved in money laundering, assassinations, racket collecting, corruption in aid activities, wiretapping of top state officials' phone conversations, and leaking of state secrets, among others. Dismissed FETO militants who were employing concealment tactics, either played roles in such illegal activities or financed them through their compulsory donations to the said terrorist organisation.
The public still remembers, for instance, how FETO-linked prosecutors, judges and policemen ruined the lives of many patriotic Turkish military officers a few years ago, through sham trials and defamation campaigns. Such crimes of FETO were just part of its grand strategy to take over the state control in Turkey and to start to perform its duties as a puppet of certain global power centres. Fortunately though, the Turkish nation slapped the face of FETO.
All legal procedures against FETO militants, all of whom are indoctrinated by Gulen's ill-advised ideology (who just like DAESH and Al Qaeda misuses a distorted version of religion), are based on concrete evidence. In these legal processes, Turkey acts in full observance of the Constitution and other relevant laws, international conventions to which she is a party, as well as the principle of rule of law and human rights. Tens of thousands of public servants who had previously been suspended over suspected links to FETO have already been reinstated to their posts, following investigations conducted in the abovementioned framework.
Gulen's demand for an independent investigation to be conducted by an international commission should be seen as an endeavour to dilute and discredit the national judicial procedures in Turkey, which is a sovereign state upholding universal principles of law.
Gulen's efforts to portray the legitimate fight of Turkey against his terrorist organisation as a political tug-of-war entail contextual and logical deficiencies. Needless to say, Gulen and his terrorist followers chose terrorism instead of politics. They killed their fellow 250 innocent citizens by using the heavy weaponry entrusted to them for national defence.
Gulen chose not to be in any political party through which he can legitimately challenge any other politician in Turkey. Yet behind the scenes, he strove to influence the democratic political life in Turkey by illegitimate methods as was witnessed in the recent years. He thought he could topple the legitimate Government of Turkey and the constitutional order through a terrorist coup, which was an insane delusion. Therefore, Gulen by no means is a legitimate political contender.
Last month, Turkey's main opposition leader completed a 430-kilometer march from Ankara to Istanbul as part of his opposition activities, where the government ensured his and other marchers’ security throughout 25 days. This is a remarkable proof that non-violent opposition has full freedom of speech and action in Turkey. FETO terrorist organisation, however, hardly falls under this category.
The main opposition leader told the Turkish press in June 2017 that he believed FETO terrorist organisation had carried out the July 15 coup plot, emphasising that he does not have the slightest doubt in his mind about it.
In a nutshell, FETO is a despicable terrorist organisation attempting to conceal its cruel and criminal façade by distorting realities as was exemplified by its leader, and is recognised as such by the ruling as well as opposition parties in Turkey. FETO indeed constitutes a big threat to Uganda, where its entities including schools, continue to indoctrinate our innocent children.
The writer is a journalist and radio presenter