Anadolu Agency Headlines on 15 July 2017

"Foreign envoys hail Turkey for upholding democracy"
UK, Venezuela, South Africa, Burundi ambassadors recall July 15 defeated coup, express support for Turkey



Ambassadors of several countries have praised the Turkish nation for defending their democracy on the night of the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, as Turkey marks the first anniversary of the deadly attempt that left 250 people martyred.

The envoys based in Ankara recalled the fight the Turkish people put up against the coup plotters following a call to defend their democracy by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the coup bid that also injured nearly 2,200 people.

Venezuelan Ambassador Jose Gregorio Bracho Reyes said the July 15 coup bid in Turkey made him recall the foiled coup d’etat in his own country on April 11, 2002.

“I gradually began to have information about the incidents, and I realized there was a lot of similarity between the incidents in Caracas in 2002 and the incidents on July 15.

“I started to reach clue about this extremely terrible incident. Venezuelan government and we quickly realized that fascist external forces were behind such a very terrible attempt against democracy," Reyes said.

“In 2002, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was kidnapped from the palace and people took to the streets. I also thought the same thing during the incidents [on July 15 in Turkey]. Millions of people had taken to the streets for Chavez to retake the office.

“From this point of view, the task of fascist soldiers is no longer easy. Because the people of the world know very well how to defend themselves. The have both democratic will and democracy
in their hands. The difference is that the people of Venezuela took arms in their hand.”

‘Emergency not a hindrance’

South African Ambassador Pule Malefane described the late hours on July 15 as a “hectic evening for all of us”.

He said the July 15 bid made him revive memories of 1976 when a group of black school students had protested for better education in his country.

South Africa went through a turmoil in 1976,” said Malefane who was a student at the time.

The ambassador said that South Africa was among the first countries to “condemn the events of 15th July”.

He said the South African president had also sent a message to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, expressing his support for the elected government and democracy in Turkey.

“A coup basically something that [is] against the will of the people. The people elect government through democratic processes. That process cannot be undermined,” Malefane said.

He said Turkish citizens had demonstrated their patriotism on July 15, “that they can be able to lay their lives in defense of their country, in defense of their national symbols and in defense of their rights to a government of them choose”.

He also said the announcement of the state of emergency by the Turkish government following the coup attempt was a necessity to punish the coup plotters.

“The state of emergency is not seen as hindrance but as a mechanism to try and find answers to the questions of 15th July.”

Turkish nation showed courage

British Ambassador Richard Moore described the coup attempt as “unacceptable and unbelievable”, saying "it was an attempt against the elected president and elected government".

“The parliament is a symbol of democracy,” Moore told Anadolu Agency in an interview in Ankara. “It is unbelievable to shoot the heart of the democracy. What was crossing in their [FETO coup plotters'] mind?" he asked.

He hailed the Turkish people’s resistance on the night which they made without the use of any weapons. “I was so much impressed by it.”

Burundian Ambassador Joel Nkurabagaya said the resistance of Turkish people would set an example for other societies around the world.

The diplomat said Burundi too had faced similar incidents and experienced the consequences. “So that, we prayed for the attempted coup in Turkey not be succeeded.”

Nkurabagaya also appreciated the Turkish nation. “They had showed what the courage, determination and patriotism are.”

Such kind of sacrifice was impossible without true love for the motherland, he said.

He added that Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza had also strongly condemned the coup attempt after several hours of the July 15 bid.

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