ISLAMABAD: Turkey’s envoy in Pakistan on Friday criticised the ‘double standards’ of Western nations, calling the initial reaction of some leading democracies to the failed July 16 coup attempt in his country ‘unfortunate and disgraceful’.
“Some big countries supported only stability [in Turkey], not democracy… initially, they did not react,” Ambassador S Babür Girgin told reporters at a briefing at the Turkish Embassy in Islamabad. “It is disgraceful for those countries to call themselves democracies,” he said.
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The envoy showed slides displaying the ‘biased’ coverage of some leading Western media outlets. He said even after the coup attempt had failed, some outlets continued to give the impression that it was under way. “It is frustrating to see distorted comments by some Western media outlets and some politicians. We hope that this is not the position of their governments,” he said.
Girgin said his government strongly believes dissident cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is currently in exile in the US, orchestrated the coup attempt. “We have solid proof that Gulen led a terrorist organisation which was behind the coup. We have called on all friendly countries to help us against this group,” he said.
According to the envoy, Gulen runs a ‘terrorist’ group with deep connections in different Turkish departments. “Their network was not limited to armed forces. The officer who held the chief of general staff hostage confessed he reported to a teacher every day,” he said.
He told reporters that the Turkish parliament was still discussing reinstating the death penalty for those behind to coup. He said Erdogan would only re-impose it if parliament called for it.
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Girgin accused the West of double standards when it comes to Muslim countries. “Western leaders criticised us when Turkey imposed a state of emergency for three months. But when France extended their emergency for six months, their foreign minister criticised us the same day,” he said.
Girgin also claimed Gulen’s group had a big presence in Pakistan and that his government was in contact with Islamabad in this regard. He refrained from commenting on the issue further. He thanked the people and government of Pakistan for always standing by Turkey.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2016.
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