Ankara, September 1, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has called on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to tell everybody, including their national assemblies, what happened on the night of July 15, when Turkey put down a failed coup attempt, and how the Turkish people embraced democracy.
“Today you are here as an indicator of support to Turkey, of solidarity during these hard days. You came after giving an ear to the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Our expectation from you is telling everyone what Turkey has lived through, how the Turkish people protected their democracy that night, not only to the parliamentarian assembly that you are representing, but also to your national assemblies,” Yıldırım said to parliamentarians on Sept. 1.
Stressing that some countries immediately showed solidarity, Yıldırım complained that “many countries that Turkey assumed were friends and brothers remained silent” after the July 15 coup attempt.
As a more accurate picture of the truth about the events leading up to and including the coup attempt became clearer, receiving positive reactions was still welcome, even if they came late, he added.
Countries which criticize every minor case about democratic values were unable to defend democracy in an attack which directly targeted democracy, the prime minister stated.
“In the mildest saying, they have featured a pro-coup attitude by means of this,” he said, adding they would not accept double standards on defending democratic values.
Minister praises Council of Europe
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Sept. 1 that the Council of Europe had stood by democracy, the Turkish people and the elected prime minster and government since the recent failed coup attempt.
“The Council of Europe has always shared its frank opinions and concerns in a sincere environment,” Çavuşoğlu said after meeting with Pedro Agramunt, the president of the PACE.
He added that the Council of Europe had always contributed to the development of Turkish democracy and Ankara had never ruled out its responsibilities to the body.
The Turkish government has repeatedly complained about the alleged lack of solidarity from its Western allies in the aftermath of the botched coup attempt, blamed on the followers of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
For his part, Agramunt said they had a fruitful meeting with Çavuşoğlu and would continue cooperation with the Turkish government.
Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland was one of the first visitors to Turkey, aiming to show solidarity after the coup attempt.
Gülen is accused of attempting to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.