Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called on Turkish non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to observe the trials stemming from last year’s deadly coup attempt, Anadolu reported.
The failed coup attempt on July 15 last year, which the Turkish government believes was organized by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), martyred 250 and injured nearly 2,200 others.
Speaking at a Iftar (fast-breaking) dinner with NGO representatives in Ankara, Erdogan praised their contribution to inclusive democracy and peace in the country.
“We don’t see NGOs as a threat but the keystone of the nation’s unity and solidarity. You are tools of inclusive democracy and social peace in our country,” he said.
The president stated that the NGOs are not against the state but complementary to it.
“Without the support of and cooperation with NGOs, a state cannot reach its goal, regardless of how strong it is,” he noted.
“I would like to ask NGOs to attend FETO’s coup trials,” he underlined, stressing the judicial process against the coup suspects.
No sacrifice of youth to PKK, FETO
Following the deadly coup attempt, the Turkish government has launched wide-ranging investigation into the FETO terror network.
The government has also accused FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Erdogan also praised NGOs’ support against terrorism, including FETO and the PKK.
“We cannot sacrifice this country’s youths to the terrorist barons in Qandil and Pennsylvania, nor to drug terrorism,” he added, referring to the PKK base in Iraq and the U.S. home of FETO leader Fetullah Gulen.
“Turkey’s NGOs have a big role to play in the struggle against drug abuse… Both armed terrors and drug terrors are same to us,” said Erdogan.
The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU -- resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015. Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of around 1,200 people, including women and children.