*Ambassador lauds Qatar for overcoming effects of blockade
Turkey, which commemorated on Wednesday the third anniversary of the failed coup attempt by the Gulenist Terrorist Organisation (Feto) in July 15, 2016, lauded Qatar for its support during the crisis, which claimed the lives of 250 people and left more than 2,500 injured.
“The state of Qatar has expressed its strong denunciation and condemnation of the military coup attempt and violation of the constitutional legitimacy in the Republic of Turkey.
“Turkey and the Turkish people will always remember Qatar’s valuable and solid support on this issue,” Turkish ambassador Fikret Ozer said at a press conference in Doha Wednesday.
Three years after the failed military takeover, Ozer said Turkey is “still struggling to overcome the trauma of this existential threat to our beloved country.”
“On the third anniversary of the thwarted coup attempt, we are still mourning the loss of innocent citizens and sharing the sorrow of those who were permanently disabled,” said Ozer in his speech.
But the ambassador also emphasised that “the support from friendly countries,” such as Qatar, helped Turkey eliminate the negative impact of the coup attempt.
“Therefore, we appreciate that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, other officials, and the people of Qatar supported firmly our democratically elected government after the heinous coup attempt on July 15, with phone calls, official visits, statements, and social media messages,” Ozer continued.
He noted that Turkey lamented the unjust siege imposed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt in June 2017, but at the same time congratulated Qatar for overcoming the effects of the economic blockade.
“One year after the coup attempt in Turkey, unfortunately this time, Qatar experienced her own ‘July 15’ – an unjust blockade from her neighbours. It was an unpleasant but a meaningful coincidence.
“These two crises led our countries to further strengthen our relationships both at bilateral and multilateral levels. Turkey and Qatar turned these existential crises into opportunities and benefited from it. Both countries successfully overcame these crises and became stronger than ever,” Ozer pointed out.
The ambassador stressed that Turkey is aware of its obligations related to democracy, human rights, the principle of rule of law, and international conventions “in combating this process and as in the past, due respect is being shown to fundamental rights and freedoms and the principle of supremacy of law will be strictly observed.”
Ozer emphasised that the Turkish Republic has the right and the responsibility to take necessary measures to eliminate severe threats against the survival of its nation and state, along with Turkey’s democratic constitutional order.
He said Turkey is determined to fight Feto with the rule of law, morality, and democracy.
“We are committed to strengthen our democratic credentials, because we know that this is the only way to counter terrorism in all forms and manifestations. We are determined to fight such enemies of democracy through democracy.”
Ozer added: “Feto did not only seek to damage the Turkish nation and state, but also the common values of the democratic world. Unfortunately, some of our international partners are far from grasping this fact and the severity of the threat. They must learn that this ‘snake’ will someday bite them.
“On the other hand, our strategic partner and close friend – Qatar, with her visionary government and proud people, understood the challenge and difficulties we faced and supported us with all means.”