UPDATE : 2018.9.24 MON 18:27
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‘As soon as occurrence of the events, the Korean government expressed strong support for the Turkish government’Ambassador Okcal of Turkey introduces details of failed coup in his country

By Kim Hyung-dae with Kim Sung-min

This press-conference is dedicated to anniversary of the coup d’etat attempt. We would like to inform you on what happened during the coup d’etat attempt on the 15th of July 2016 and what has been transpired since then in one year.

In nutshell, on the 15th of July, some members of Turkish military and police, some civilians and some bureaucrats made a coup attempt to topple the elected government of Turkey, the President and the democracy institutions.

Ambassador Hakan Okcal of Turkey in Seoul

Those people were linked to the secret cult led by the Turkish Cleric Fethullah Gülen who has been living in the United States for about 20 years. These persons’ ambitions were not clearly understood until the coup d’etat attempt. This attempt was a reminder that there was a big conspiracy against Turkish democracy.

The disciples of Gülen did not hesitate to kill innocent civilians. 250 people died, including members of Turkish military, police and civilians who came out in the streets to stop the coup. Tanks were rolled over the bodies; helicopters gun fired the protesters of the coup. Our Parliament was bombed by F-16 Fighting Falcons. The President who was on vacation in the summer resort at that time escaped minutes before his hotel was attacked. Still some security members that stayed in the hotel were killed.

During this passed year there has been massive arrests and layoffs in the government offices. This Gülenist Terror Organisation (Fethullahçı Terör Örgütü, FETÖ) had been penetrating the state apparatus for ages. For at least 40 years they have been bribing, directing and brainwashing young people through the schools, prep schools, seminars. Later those people had been irradicated into state organizations, occupying high positions in the military and Government. Many generals, judges, high-level police officers were part of this organization.

Ambassador Hakan Okcal (fourth from left) explains to reporters on the coup d’etat attempt in Turkey. President Kim Hyung-dae of The Korea Post media (third from left), who attended the meeting on behalf of the publisher, tries to capture the best pose of Ambassador Okcal for publication in both English and Korean versions of the interview.

Around 40-50 thousand people are in jail at the moment. There are more that 300 public prosecution cases. About 100 thousand people have been made off. The terrain in the public offices has been cleared. Turkish state apparatus is very large, it amounts 2,5 million people. In sheer numbers 150 thousand people may seem a lot, but it is about 3-4% of total number of the officials. So a very minor part of the Government apparatus had been affected – mainly high-level officials. But our people came out on the streets barehanded against the tanks to stop the coup.

The Prime Minister and all the political parties were against the coup as well. After a year the order has been restored, our economy has bounced back by 5% (highest number among OESD countries), tourism had bounced back (our Turkish Airlines are fully booked) and we feel even more confident. Although we have been affected by wars in Syria and Iraq (we have around 3 million refugees), our hardworking people endured all difficulties.

As soon as these events took place, the Korean government expressed strong support for the Turkish government. We are very grateful to our Korean friends and happy that Turkish-Korean relationship was not affected in any way.

Korean companies have invested in Turkey. They include Hanwha Q Cells, who received an order to build a solar photovoltaic power station which is considered to be the largest in Turkey. Then there are the CGV group and Hanwha group, who are present in the Turkish market. Also, SK has finished a tunnel passing under Bosporus Strait, and Daelim and SK E&C are starting the Dardanelle bridge construction project. It is going to be the world’s longest bridge.

There are a lot more possibilities for Korean-Turkish cooperation: Turkey has large ongoing projects, including construction of speed railroad and highway system inside and outside the country, gas and pipelines connecting Turkey with Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Iraq. We have a Southern Stream from Russia through the Black Sea. Turkey is also a passageway of energy lines. Airport and port capacities could possibly be increased as well.

We have 20 free economic zones, so any company can be based there and avoid customs clearance when exporting goods. We hope to see increased volumes of balanced trade between Korea and Turkey and we would also like to cooperate in the third world countries. We hope that the crisis in Middle East will eventually be solved and there will be a lot of opportunities for joint construction projects there. Both our countries have good technologies, experience and zeal to do business together.

The following are excerpts from an article written by Prime Minister Binali Yildirm of the Republic of Turkey.

Kim Sung-min  edt@koreapost.com

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