REMARKS BY AMBASSADOR KERİM URAS DELIVERED ON THE OCCASION OF THE 15th OF JULY DEMOCRACY AND NATIONAL UNITY DAY
Ambassadors, High-Commissioners, Military Attachés and Members of the
Distinguished Members of the Turkish-Canadian Community,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Three years have passed since the deadly coup attempt of 15 July, 2016.
We have gathered today to commemorate our martyrs and veterans who stood up against this heinous attempt to
eliminate a democratically elected government and change the fate of our nation.
251 citizens were murdered in cold blood and more than 2.000 were injured that night.
The Turkish people who stood against this threat have courageously
demonstrated to the world that they are determined to uphold our democracy.
That they did not recognize any force to change their freely expressed
democratic will. And that they stood ready to sacrifice their lives to protect
their country, nationhood and the democratic way of life, if necessary.
The FETÖ coup attempt is truly unique and distinct in character. For the first time
in Turkish history civilians and civil institutions became the live target of a
coup attempt. It is the deadliest terrorist attack in Turkey and
one of the greatest national traumas we witnessed.
On July 15, 2016, the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization, (aka FETO) and its
militants hi-jacked fighter jets, tanks and helicopters to overthrow the Government.
Our Parliament Building, the Presidential complex, the building of the
National Intelligence Organization (MIT), the Turkish National Police, the
Headquarters of the Police Special Operations Department were bombed by FETO
elements within the Army, Air Force and Police. It was a terrible night, where
nobody knew who to trust.
Indeed, FETÖ is a highly secretive and criminal religious cult, spearheaded by Fethullah
Gülen, who resides in Pennsylvania. The activities of FETO groups go much
beyond the schools, charities, and interfaith activities, with which it
presents itself. It has a dark underbelly, engaged in covert activities such as
cheating in exams in order to place its militants in state institutions, targeted
killings, evidence fabrication, wiretapping, disinformation, blackmail and
judicial manipulation as well as money laundering.
This sinister group, targeted three departments within each institution: Personnel,
Legal affairs and intelligence. Though these three they placed their militants
and keep others out. Although it sped up very much after 2010, this
organization has been nesting within the army and many other public departments
and agencies as well as the media, economy and the academia for decades. In
fact, my previous boss, our former Prime Minister defined FETO as terrorism 4.0.
Like we have industry 4.0, this is a new and unprecedented form of white collar
Evidence on the clandestine FETO network’s involvement in this coup attempt is abundant.
After three year-long investigations, testimonies and court cases on the events of 15 July we now
know the real picture. The Turkish authorities were able to trace thousands of
people in our country, participating in a covert network linked to the coup, by
cracking a military grade cryptographic smartphone messaging application, named
The FETO network disguises itself as a benign educational movement and charity organization. Nothing can
be further from the truth. They are still running around 300 schools in various countries around the world. Selected
students in FETÖ schools and institutions are subjected to indoctrination and
brainwashing. Through the schools and other front organizations, they generate
income and maintain their presence, even today.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Out of this coup attempt, we have two sources of pride: Firstly it
was a display of the courage and determination of the Turkish people. Turkish
citizens from all walks of life and political views took to the streets in
every city against the armed plotters. Secondly, the Turkish nation’s
demonstration of its will to defend its democracy. The Turkish people
underscored that only governments elected through a democratic processes and
the will of the nation could rule Turkey. They showed the world that the era of
coup d’etat’ in Turkey had ended forever.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Make no mistake: FETÖ is a global network. We have been warning all states about the nature of this
threat. Many countries have listened and put an end to their activity. However,
some are still on the fence. We know by experience that these are not the
benign people they present themselves to be.
We strongly encourage all third parties to take this threat seriously.
I regret to say that this clandestine network is also active in Canada. Here in Ottawa for example, they
operate through a large mosque and center in Kanata, which they have hi-jacked
from the Turkish-Canadian community. It was built with the money raised from
the donations of the Turkish Canadian Community, which no longer supports them.
FETÖ employs deceiving tactics to show themselves as charity or non-profit organizations and manipulate the
Canadian system of tolerance and multiculturalism.
They are also exploiting the Canadian asylum system. As of 1 January 2018,
the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada has included Turkey on the narrow list of expedited countries for asylum. Hence providing refugee status to individuals within 30 to 60 days. The
beneficiaries of this is largely FETÖ militants. I do hope the institutions
will look at this threat more closely and revise their stance before it becomes
a real problem.
What we are discussing here today is a crucial matter for Turkey. We have come back from the brink.
I hope what we have lived through will be an awakener to others.
I must emphasize that our determination to fully eliminate all structures of FETÖ in Turkey and beyond will be a long-term struggle which the Turkish Government will resolutely maintain.Thank you again for coming and being part of this commemoration.
Monday - Friday
09:00 - 17:00
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