By Eloïse Wacheux
The last hours have been burdensome in Turkey: an organization within the army attempted a takeover against the democracy, which happened to be unsuccessful. In a press conference given at the Turkish Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, Ambassador Murat Karagoz stated that this attack was a first in Turkish history, as it was an internal revolution, conducted by police, the army, and air force.
“It is a stain on democracy,” he affirmed, as a complement to the official statement divulged by the government after the attack, which states: “The situation that unfolded in Turkey was a coup attempt to overthrow the democratically-elected government. This attempt was foiled by the Turkish people in unity and solidarity. Our President and government are in charge. Turkish Armed Forces were not involved in the coup attempt in its entirety. It was conducted by a clique within the Armed Forces and received a well-deserved response from our nation.”
In the attack, the armed group successfully took control of a TV channel and hacked their website in order to conduct broadcasts, but soon after, the authorities shut it down. An airbase in Istanbul, which was also taken by the armed group, was reclaimed after more than 15 hours of chaos, but the human toll was high. About 3,000, high and low ranking soldiers and officers who participated in the coup attempt were arrested, and 100 more were killed. About 160 civilians were also killed, with more than 1,400 injured. An investigation, which was requested by a special session of the Turkish government is on its way, in order to track down any other soldiers guilty of treason. In a very unusual way, all of Turkey’s political parties agreed to form a union and affirm a strong and collective rejection of the putsch. This reaction was in communion with the Turkish people, who started a riot to protest the attempted coup, and it is this unified repudiation which disallowed this attack.
There are reports that the Turkish public strongly disapproves of this attempt and is asking for severity in the punishment of this action. This is being echoed by the international community: Turkey has received a lot of support from Europe, the USA, and Asia in support of their democracy. In that spirit, yesterday’s session of ASEM11 was closed with messages of support for Turkey, wishing their citizens and democracy good luck in their recovery.
Answering a question about the possible opportunity sought by ISIS in the putsch, the Ambassador explained that ISIS was their “most dangerous issue” at the moment, but the government keeps on fighting against it and its agents in the army. He said that this process has not ended yet, even though safety is their main focus at the moment.
Currently, more than 3,000 Mongolian civilians live in Turkey, but none of them were harmed during the attack, although the Ambassador stated that there was a need to verify that none of the victims of the putsch were Mongolian.
Ambassador Karagoz concluded the press conference by wishing a good recovery for those injured during the fighting, and gave his condolences to the victim’s families. Now that the situation is stable in Turkey, life starts again, in spite of these recent events.