Turkey coup anniversary: Erdogan asks West to choose between Turkey, terrorists

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Ankara [Turkey], July 15 (ANI) :On the first anniversary of July 15 defeated coup, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked Western leaders to make a choice between Turkey and terrorist organisation. "There is no way to sugar-coat this betrayal of Turkey's friendship which is incompatible with bilateral relations and fundamental values alike," Erdogan wrote in an article for a British daily. "Today, western leaders have a choice between standing in solidarity with terrorists or regaining the favor of the Turkish people." The Turkish Government has accused U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen and his outfit- Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETO) for orchestrating the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in which 250 people were martyred and nearly 2,200 injured. Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary. The Turkish Government is attempting to extradite Gulen, who had been living in Pennsylvania since 1999. "The thwarting of the coup marked a turning point in the history of democracy; it will be a source of hope and inspiration for all peoples who live under dictators," the president said. He slammed western leaders for not fully appreciating the significance of what happened in Turkey on July 15, 2016. "Instead of expressing solidarity with my countrymen, a number of western governments and institutions opted to wait and see how the crisis would play out," Erdogan said. "Their hypocrisy and double standards deeply disturbed the Turkish people, who risked everything to defend freedom." In his article, the President underlined the importance of bringing Fetullah Gulen and his followers to justice; Erdogan said evidence proves they were behind the foiled coup. "It isn't just important for Turkey but for democracy everywhere," he said.(ANI)