Saturday September 25, 2021

Homage paid to Turkish people for foiling 2016 coup bid

Islamabad : Turkish ambassador Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul and Pakistan's law minister Farough Naseem on Thursday paid homage to 251 citizens of Turkey, who laid down lives during the defeated July 15, 2016, military coup in the country.

They showed up in F-9 Fatima Jinnah Park and planted a sapling as part of an event organised by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency to mark Turkey’s Democracy and National Unity Day. The Turkish envoy thanked Pakistan for siding with Turkey against the 2016 ‘assault on democracy’ and subsequent actions against the ‘Gulenist Terror Organisation’ (FETO).

“We are grateful to the Pakistani leadership and nation for showing solidarity with us during the attempted coup, declaring the FETO a terrorist outfit and handing over Gulen’s schools in the country to Turkish authorities,” he said. Mustafa Yurdakul criticised the US government for not extraditing exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of orchestrating the 2016 coup bid.

“Despite our repeated demands, the United States has not handed over wanted terrorist Gulen to us [Turkey] and continues to protect him, so it's time the US acts to show if it's with democracy or terrorists,” he said. The ambassador said terrorists tried to use religion to do away with a democratic dispensation in Turkey but the nation forged unity and foiled the attempt. “Democracy is flourishing in Turkey,” he said.

Asked about the growing tensions in Afghanistan, he said Turkey wanted Afghanistan to be a stable and prosperous country for the development of the residents, so it was making efforts for the purpose. Mustafa Yurdakul said Turkey had no secret agenda for Afghanistan.

He said the Kabul International Airport’s security used to be with Turkey under the NATO framework and after the recent withdrawal of the US troops from the country, it intended to provide logistical support and security for the airport just to ensure that it continues to be operational.

“Talks are underway but nothing can be said about the airport security with certainty,” he said. The ambassador appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for Afghan peace. Law minister Farough Naseem showered praise on the people of Turkey for sacrificing their lives to save democracy in the country.

He said Pakistan’s Supreme Court had declared FETO a terror outfit for trying to harm Turkey with the help of foreign aid and ordered the handing over of its educational institutions in the country to the Turkish authorities. The minister also said Pakistan’s parliament passed resolutions to show solidarity with the Turkish leadership and people against the coup bid. He said Pakistan and Turkey were two countries but one nation sharing cultural, historical and religious values.

The minister said both countries stood with each other in time of need and would continue doing so. He wished Pakistan and Turkey peace, stability and prosperity.