‘Turks showed political maturity by countering coup’

Turkey is marking a year since the 2016 failed coup attempt with ceremonies across the country. Addressing a special event in Istanbul on Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave an emotional speech to tens of thousands of people, warning that he will chop off the heads of traitors. He also once again accused US-backed opposition figure Fethullah Gulen of orchestrating the July 15th coup. The Turkish president further defended his decision to launch a heavy-handed crackdown on alleged Gulen supporters after the event. Erdogan said that 111,000 people had been sacked since then and many were in detention. Following is a synopsis of an interview Press TV has conducted with Tony Gosling, an investigative journalist, and Hatem Yavuz, a political observer, on this subject.

Tony Gosling maintains that Western governments, the United States in particular, were behind the last year’s failed coup attempt in Turkey, saying that by creating fake religious movements or cults like that of Fethullah Gulen, Western intelligence agencies seek to capture the Turkish people’s hearts and minds so that they can manipulate the nation as and when they demand.

“This is the modus operandi of the [US] Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA,” Gosling said.

Since the 1950s, the CIA became very interested in taking over, infiltrating, and even creating cults, churches and religious movements in different countries to affect public opinion through religion, according to the analyst.

“So, we are talking about [the fact that] controlling political parties [and] political movements is controlling your mind … if you can control the policy and the very AIPACs over religious movements, then you can control the hearts of those that are the followers of that movement,” Gosling underlined.

The image grab shows Tony Gosling (L), an investigative journalist, and Hatem Yavuz, a political observer, on Press TV’s ‘The Debate’ on July 16, 2017.  

Meanwhile, Hatem Yavuz, the other panelist on the show, described the failed coup attempt as “the rebirth of modern Turkey,” arguing that people’s vigilance in the face of the foreign-backed coup was the manifesto of their political maturity and proved that the age of military coups in Turkey is over.

Asked about Erdogan’s heavy clampdown on supporters of the Gulen movement, he replied that the detainees constitute a very small portion of Turkey’s population and that the figures should not be exaggerated.

“It is a cleansing period and obviously there are some innocent people being arrested as well,” Yavuz noted, adding that a relatively large number of those people have been indirectly or directly linked with the Gulen movement in terms of financing, and recruiting.     

Turkey witnessed a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, when a faction of the military declared that Erdogan’s government was no more in charge.

A few hours later, however, the coup was suppressed. Almost 250 people were killed and nearly 2,200 others wounded.

Since then, Ankara has been engaged in suppressing the media and opposition groups, who were believed to have played a role in the failed putsch.

Over 50,000 people have been arrested and some 150,000 others sacked or suspended from a wide range of professions, including soldiers, police, teachers, and public servants.

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