By Safvan Allahverdi, WASHINGTON, AA - Turkey’s ambassador to the U.S. on Wednesday criticized the U.S. reaction to the defeated coup last July. Serdar Kilic was speaking at a conference in Washington held by the Global Policy Institute think-tank in cooperation with Bahcesehir University and the July 15 Foundation. He said that after he was told of the coup attempt, he immediately called the White House and asked for a condemnation, but no statement was issued in support of Turkish democracy until late in the afternoon. “This was the greatest disappointment that I have ever suffered,” Kilic stressed.
He also criticized a statement issued by the U.S. State Department two days after the coup attempt which he said called on “both parties” to show insight.
“Both parties? One of them is the Turkish state and Turkish people who tried to defend their democracy, and the other is a terrorist organization,” Kilic said. “How can you expect the Turkish public not to be disappointed with this?”
He highlighted that the Turkish people stood for democracy on July 15, 2016 and they were bombed and attacked mercilessly by helicopters and aircraft.
Turkey fighting for democracy
“But now we are being criticized for taking measures against those who were involved in the coup attempt. Yes, we are taking measures but this is self-defense and Turkey is fighting for its freedom and democracy,” the ambassador stressed. "Turkey is not going to allow a repeat of this incident."
On Turkey’s expectations of its allies, he said that the U.S. and the rest of Turkey’s allies should show more solidarity, to empathize and understand what they felt on July 15.
The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
FETO is also behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Turkish officials say they have sent 84 boxes of files to the U.S. proving Gulen’s involvement in the failed coup, and have demanded his extradition to Turkey.
However, the U.S. Justice Department is still working on those files, he added.
“He [Gulen] still appears on TV channels, writes articles for media outlets blaming the government and claiming that he has nothing to do with the coup,” he said.
"I don't know about you, but I have never seen a criminal admitting to his guilt. So he’s going to keep on denying his involvement in the coup," Kilic said.
'US not involved in coup'
Also speaking at the conference, James Jeffrey, who served as U.S. ambassador to Ankara in 2008-2010, asserted that the U.S. was not involved in the failed coup.
“This was not a coup like the other [previous] coups by the Turkish military. This was a coup using military officers by another organization, the Fetullah Gulen movement. That movement was behind this coup as far as I or anybody else can objectively see,” Jeffrey stated.
When asked by Anadolu Agency whether the U.S. would react similarly if it faced a situation like the attempted coup in Turkey, Jeffrey said that if there were an attempt to overthrow the U.S.’ democratic system, the reaction of American authorities would be severe.