In an article he wrote for Britain's Guardian newspaper published on Saturday on the first anniversary of the July 15 defeated coup, Erdogan wrote: “There is no way to sugar-coat this betrayal of Turkey’s friendship -- which is incompatible with bilateral relations and fundamental values alike. Today, Western leaders have a choice between standing in solidarity with terrorists or regaining the favor of the Turkish people.”
Turkish government says he Gulen movement and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen are terrorists orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured. The Turkish government considers the Gulen movement a terrorist organization.
"The thwarting of the coup marked a turning point in the history of democracy; it will be a source of hope and inspiration for all peoples who live under dictators," the president said.
He slammed western leaders for not fully appreciating the significance of what happened in Turkey on July 15, 2016.
“Instead of expressing solidarity with my countrymen, a number of western governments and institutions opted to wait and see how the crisis would play out,” Erdogan said.
“Their hypocrisy and double standards deeply disturbed the Turkish people, who risked everything to defend freedom.”
In his article, the president underlined the importance of bringing Fetullah Gulen and his followers to justice; Erdogan said evidence proves they were behind the foiled coup.
It “isn’t just important for Turkey but for democracy everywhere,” he said.
“Our goal is to prosecute criminals to the full extent of the law while building our country’s resilience to future attacks.” Erdogan expressed regret that dozens of senior leaders of the organization led by Gülen, have been granted asylum by Ankara's self-proclaimed friends and allies.
Referring to the Kurdish issues, Erdogan said it is not possible to justify the criticism directed at Turkey for declaring a state of emergency at a time when several countries that face relatively minor national security threats have opted to do the same. He said over the years, the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK), has claimed almost 50,000 lives.
The Turkish government has asked the US to reverse its decision to broaden support for Syria’s Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (YPG), stating that it is unacceptable for a NATO ally to support “terrorist groups. While the YPG is a US ally in Syria, Ankara perceives it as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist group in both Turkey and the US.