Coup-plotters 'tried to force army chief to speak to Gulen'

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey might extend its state of emergency after the initial three months has lapsed.

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday says pro-coup officers had forced the Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar, to speak with Fethullah Gulen, who is the ringleader of the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO).

In an interview with France24, Erdogan accused the self-exiled cleric of being behind of the failed coup attempt which killed 246 people and injured nearly 1,500 people on July 15.

The cleric who is the cult figure for members of FETO, has been living in Pennsylvania, US for over 16 years.

“They [the coup leaders] were given instructions from Pennsylvania, and now they are starting to confess about it,” Erdogan said.  

"They even tried to get the army Chief of Staff, who was being held hostage, to speak to Gulen directly."

Erdogan says he's moving to clear state organs of FETO members.

“We will continue operations against these separatists. We have to rid our institutions of this cancer.”

He says the state of emergency is aimed at strengthening democracy and civil rights.

Referring to France’s own state of emergency which was recently extended, Erdogan said Turkey might also follow the same path after the initial three months has lapsed.

“There is no obstacle in terms of prolonging it. Initially of course it is three months, but after three months we can ask for a second three month period and extend it.

“My nation, my people, shouldn't have the slightest concern.

“Everything is on track and the state of emergency is simply for our democratic institutions to function in a more healthy way. Our public institutions will also function more smoothly."

Erdogan says there would be a rebuilding process in the army to usher in a new spirit.

This will occur after the Supreme Military Council meeting which will place on July 28.

TRTWorld and agencies