Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has strongly accused the West of supporting terrorism and coup plotters, expressing his resentment at the unsatisfying support from Turkey’s allies in the aftermath of the failed July 15 coup attempt.
“Now I ask: Does the West give support to terror or not? Is the West on the side of democracy or on the side of coups and terror? Unfortunately, the West gives support to terror and stands on the side of coups,” Erdoğan said in an address to international investors on Aug. 2 in Ankara.
The resentment stems from long-running rift between Turkey and a number of European countries on the fight against terror which seems to have deepened in the aftermath of the coup attempt after the support the Turkish government expected failed to arrive.
“We have not received the support we were expecting from our friends, neither during nor after the coup attempt,” he said.
Erdoğan lamented that no Western leader had come to Turkey to express condolences and show solidarity with the Turkish people. “It’s sufficient to look at the statements issued during and after the coup to see this.”
The statements issued by the Western countries summarily condemned the coup attempt but mostly addressed concerns about the measures the Turkish government has been taking against the Gülenists, Erdoğan said, calling on all European politicians to come to Turkey to see the parliament, National Police Department and other state facilities that were bombed by the coup plotters.
“A coup was staged in a country ruled by democracy and there are 238 martyrs and 2,200 wounded so far. You still say, ‘We are concerned.’ How can you show affection to the perpetrators of such a thing?” Erdoğan said.
Resentment against Germany
Erdoğan specifically targeted Germany, whose authorities banned him from participating in a rally in Cologne over the weekend via videoconference.
“They could not accept my participation in the rally via videoconference. German courts are working so fast. The German Constitutional Court issued its decision immediately,” Erdoğan said, while recalling that the same courts were reluctant when it came to dossiers Turkey had given on suspected terrorists. “In the past, the leaders of the terrorist organization could well make addresses via videoconference,” Erdoğan said, noting that the number of dossiers Turkey had provided to Germany on the anti-terror fight had exceeded 4,000.
The same kind of unwillingness in the fight against terror has been observed in France and Belgium as well, Erdoğan said, recalling that the murderer of a prominent Turkish businessman, Özdemir Sabancı, was still freely living in Belgium despite Ankara’s calls.
Recalling the deal Turkey and the EU reached in recent months to halt the flow of migrants to Europe, Erdoğan said: “It was us who protected Europe from the flow of 3 million Syrians. We protected Europe, but they have not kept their word. They had to transfer 3 billion euros for refugees and provide visa liberalization to Turkish nationals by June.”
Turkey handed over terrorists to US without evidence
Turkey was also disappointed by comments that question whether Fethullah Gülen was behind the coup attempt, Erdoğan said. “Documents have been sent to the U.S. When you demanded the handover of a terrorist we have not asked for documents from you,” the president said, recalling Ankara’s expectation of the extradition of Gülen from the U.S. in line with the strategic nature of the countries’ relationship.
Revisions within the state
The coup attempt had made substantial changes in the state structure necessary as the putsch was made possible by a huge failure in intelligence, Erdoğan said, noting that the army, intelligence and other key institutions would be restructured.
As such, the Telecommunication Directorate (TİB), an institution which had allegedly been taken over by Gülenists, will be closed, he said.
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