By Kasim Ileri
The coup attempt on July 15 was not against the government in Ankara, rather it was a “crime against Turkish people”, journalist and author Nedim Sener said Thursday.
Sener’s comments came at a panel organized by the Washington DC-based think tank Turkish Heritage Organization where he spoke along with retired Turkish military judge Col. Ahmet Zeki Ucok and former head of military intelligence retired Lt. Gen. Ismail Hakki Pekin.
“It might have been designed to topple the AKP government but the coup attempt led by FETO [Fetullah Terrorist organization] targeted Turkish public and it was a big crime against Turkish people,” Sener said.
He added that if Gulenists had succeeded in toppling the government, they would have not only killed AK Party members and leaders but also many other people with different political affiliations, including himself.
The three panelists, for years, were victimized by FETO, being accused of a plot against Justice and Development (AK) Party in a phony lawsuit called Balyoz (Sledgehammer) in Turkey.
They were removed from posts and jailed under the Balyoz lawsuit launched in 2010.
Ucok said he was the first and the last prosecutor who launched an investigation into the FETO organization in 2009.
“They threatened me with removing kidneys of my 13-year-old daughter,” he said. “They removed me from my post and sentenced me to a five-year of service in jail with fake lawsuits and evidence against me.”
Ucok slammed those who claim the coup attempt was a plot by the Turkish government, saying that a bloody attempt which “45 percent of Turkish generals joined” cannot be a plot or a game.
Pekin, on the other hand, called on the U.S. to extradite Gulen, saying that Washington has an obligation toward its NATO ally’s stability.
He compared the trauma that the failed attempt created within the Turkish public to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that psychologically rocked Americans.
The former general commended President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his courageous move by calling on people to stand against the coup and said Turkish people, regardless of their ideology, should stand with Erdogan against Gulen.