On Wednesday 15th July 2020, the Turkish Embassy in Sierra Leone marked and reflected on the attempted coup on the Turkish Government on 15th July 2016 at their Lumley Beach Road embassy. According to the Turkish Ambassador in Sierra Leone, H.E. Deha Erpek, the aim of the commemoration is to remind the people of Turkey not to forget the event, adding “This is the fourth commemoration since the attempted coup”. He pointed out that the President and People of Turkey were swift to protect their long standing democracy four years ago, and have been able to manage the traumatic situation.
The failed coup was allegedly masterminded by Fetullah Gullen, who the Ambassador said is one of the serious threats to Turkey. His Excellency Erpek maintained the tragic failed coup cost the lives of 251 people; left thousands injured; the Prime Minister’s vehicle attacked; and going as far as affecting the Air National Intelligence Organization and Turkish National Police Department. The Ambassador stressed that his country’s democracy is stronger than ever, adding that 15th July is not just an ordinary commemoration, but a celebration of having come through that traumatic moment.
He said the coup attempt made it impossible for him to find the appropriate words to describe the brutality and treachery that the coup plotters displayed that night. “They attempted to assassinate the President and Prime Minister”, he said, adding that 250 Turkish citizens were killed and thousands wounded. Four important years have passed since the 15th July coup attempt allegedly carried out by FETO terrorists. According to the Ambassador, the fight against FETO, both inside and outside Turkey, “has constituted one of the main priorities of our country to eradicate Fetullah Gullen and his disciples”.
He said despite facing extraordinary security challenges they have been able to successfully conduct the fight at home in compliance with the principles of the rule of law and fundamental right and freedom. The Ambassador applauded the Government and People of Sierra Leone for their support and cooperation, as the ceremony was climaxed with prayers for those that lost their lives during the tragic 15th July 2016 attack.
By Mohamed J. Bah