Monday , December 18 2017

RIYADH DETAINS TURKISH MILITARY ATTACHE TO KUWAIT – Support against ‘Gulen’ coup hailed

Women react during the funeral of a victim of the failed July 15 coup attempt in Istanbul on July 17. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Sunday to purge the ‘virus’ within state bodies, during a speech at the funeral of victims killed during the coup bid he blames on his enemy Fethullah Gulen. (AFP)
Women react during the funeral of a victim of the failed July 15 coup attempt in Istanbul on July 17. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Sunday to purge the ‘virus’ within state bodies, during a speech at the funeral of victims killed during the coup bid he blames on his enemy Fethullah Gulen. (AFP)

KUWAIT CITY, July 18: Turkish Ambassador to Kuwait Murat Tamer appreciated Monday the support of the State of Kuwait and His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to Turkey from the very beginning of the failed military coup on Friday.

“This communication through different means reflects great support from the State of Kuwait and its people. This gave us more strength and proved that the Turkish and Kuwaiti people are really friends and brothers,” he told a news conference at the embassy.

The senior Turkish diplomat reassured that life is now back to normal nationwide and all vital state facilities have resumed work. Ambassador Tamer condemned the failed military coup d’état as a terrorist campaign staged by the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization (FETO). “Our government has been constantly exposing the real motives of this terrorist group and its leader, Fethullah Gulen, to all allies and partners.

The foiled coup is the latest criminal act revealing the danger posed by FETO”, he said. Speaking to the press about the incident, he said, “It was understood in a short time that this was more than a treacherous plot: It was a terrorist campaign. The perpetrators shot at their own people, stabbed their commanders in the back and bombed the Parliament and the Office of the Presidency”.

He revealed that the Turkish government has requested the US government to extradite Fethullah Gulen and was exerting every effort in its pursuit of the handover through the prescribed channels. He was hopeful that a compromise would be struck owing to the rooted friendship and partnership between the two countries, who apart from being members of NATO were also fighting on the same front against the common threat of ISIS.

He stressed that only some elements of the Air Forces, Gendarmerie and armoured units had joined the bid to overthrow the government while the command chain and vast majority of the Turkish Armed Forces had stood up against the coup with both the police and public prosecutors immediately taking necessary measures to foil the attempt.

He also commended the Turkish people for thwarting the plot, “They displayed a historic solidarity as they took to the streets and remained defiant. They stood bravely in front of the tanks and reclaimed their democratic rights.” “Throughout the process, all the political parties and members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and the people stood firmly by democracy, democratic politics, democratic institutions and the constitution.”, he stated.

Ambassador Tamer informed that in the aftermath of the failed coup, over 6000 have been detained so far and more than 100 plotters were captured dead. The operations are ongoing and the terrorists will be punished in accordance with the law. “Unfortunately more than 190 of our citizens were left dead and more than 1400 wounded”, he added. When questioned about the detention of the Military Attaché to Kuwait in Dammam, KSA, at Ankara’s request, Ambassador Tamer stated that all facts related to the incident were not clear. However, he did confirm that the Attaché had failed to turn up for work since Sunday and had not taken permission from the Embassy to leave the country. “I cannot confirm or deny that he is in the mentioned country (KSA)”, he added.

He shared that the Kuwaiti authorities had asserted their support to Turkey’s stability and security and that no sensitive military information had been compromised. He also assured that it was business as usual in Turkey now with fl ights resuming operations. Visiting Kuwaitis caught in the middle of the turmoil had been evacuated with chartered fl ights through coordination between the Kuwait Airways and Turkish Airlines. The Ambassador announced that since January, the Embassy had begun to accept visa applications from Syrians, Iraqis and other nationalities online and the applicants could pick their visas up from the Embassy, the move is aimed to limit immigration through Turkey.

Flights
Meanwhile, Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) said Monday it has resumed its fl ights between Kuwait and Istanbul. The move came as the situation is back to normal in Turkey and fl ights are resumed at Istanbul Airport, Kuwait’s national carrier said in a press statement. The KAC had announced Friday suspending fl ights to Istanbul due to the developments of the failed military coup in Turkey. Al-Jazeera Airways is continuing to provide assistance to Kuwaiti citizens in Turkey after resuming fl ights to Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport after a brief halt, the company said on Monday. Al-Jazeera Airways is closely cooperating with the Foreign Ministry and Kuwait’s embassy in Ankara, in the wake of the upheaval of a failed military coup on Friday, a press statement by the company noted. Moreover, the statement added that Al-Jazeera now operates daily fl ights six days per week from Kuwait to Ataturk Airport.

Attache
Saudi authorities have detained the Turkish military attache to Kuwait for his suspected involvement in a foiled coup against the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, local media reported Monday. The attache, identified as Mikail Gullu, was arrested at an airport in the eastern Saudi city of Dammam as he attempted to board a fl ight to Germany, the reports said. “Saudi authorities are holding the military attache for the Turkish embassy in Kuwait,” the kingdom’s Asharq Al-Awsat daily reported, quoting what it described as a foreign diplomatic source. “He was stopped based on a Turkish request and was detained during his attempt to fl ee over his likely links to the coup in Turkey,” the daily reported. The Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel confirmed the report from “Saudi sources” adding that Gullu was heading to Dusseldorf in Germany via Amsterdam. Kuwait’s Al-Qabas daily said that Gullu had fl ed Kuwait by land to Saudi Arabia.

Raids
Turkey launched fresh raids and sacked almost 9,000 officials Monday in a relentless crackdown against suspects behind an attempted coup that left over 300 people dead, as Western allies warned against reinstating the death penalty. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to wipe out the “virus” of the putschists after facing down the coup bid by elements of the military disgruntled with what they see as his increasingly iron-fisted 13-year rule. But the United States and European Union have sternly warned him against excessive retribution as the authorities round up the alleged perpetrators of Friday’s attempted power grab. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman denounced “revolting scenes of caprice and revenge against soldiers on the streets” after disturbing pictures emerged of the treatment of some detained suspects. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said over 7,500 people have been detained so far, including 103 generals and admirals, in the investigation into Friday’s coup which Erdogan has blamed on his arch-enemy, the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen. The interior ministry said almost 9,000 police, municipal governors and other officials had also been dismissed in a widening purge. Early Monday, special Istanbul anti-terror police units raided the prestigious air force military academy, detaining four suspects, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. The authorities have also detained General Mehmet Disli, who conducted the operation to capture chief-of-staff Hulusi Akar during the stand-off, an official said. The 103 generals detained are accused of seeking to violate the constitution and attempting to overthrow the authorities by force, as well as belonging to what the authorities call the Fethullahci Terror Organisation (FETO) led by Gulen. Erdogan has urged citizens to remain on the streets even after the defeat of the coup, in what the authorities describe as a “vigil” for democracy. Thousands of pro-Erdogan supporters waving Turkish fl ags filled the main Kizilay Square in Ankara while similar scenes were seen in Taksim Square in Istanbul. Western leaders have urged Turkey to follow the rule of law in the wake of the coup bid, with the massive retaliatory purge adding to concerns about human rights and democracy in the NATO member state.

By Cinatra Fernandes Arab Times Staff and Agencies

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