Erdogan: We could not let minority dominate majority

'As long as we join hands and accompany the people, the tanks could do nothing,' Turkish president says

Erdogan: We could not let minority dominate majority

World Bulletin / News Desk

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week’s failed coup tried unsuccessfully to make a minority dominate the country's majority.

In an interview with Qatar-based Al Jazeera TV late Wednesday, Erdogan reiterated that a clique within the Turkish Armed Forces carried out the deadly coup attempt.

"It is clear that they are in the minority. We could not have let minority dominate majority. We have taken all the steps necessary to prevent such an event," he said.

Erdogan said coup plotters failed in their bid to topple the government, adding that they might have some plans for their own fate.

"As long as we join hands and accompany the people, the tanks could do nothing," the president said.

Erdogan stressed that Turkey will remain a democratic parliamentary system, and “never step back from it.

“However, whatever is necessary for the nation’s peace and stability will be done,” he added.

Turkey announced Wednesday a three-month state of emergency after the failed coup Friday that martyred hundreds of people and injured more than 1,500 others.

“The declaration of the state of emergency has the sole purpose of taking the necessary measures, in the face of the extremist threat that our country is facing,” Erdogan told Al Jazeera, citing similar measures taken by France following attacks in Paris last year that are still in place.

Turkey's government said the attempted coup in which rogue elements of the military attacked the parliament, presidential palace and other state institutions, was organized by followers of U.S.-based cleric Fetullah Gulen.

Gulen and his movement are also accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the government by infiltrating Turkish state institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary -- forming a “parallel state.”

The president underlined that there is another “superior mind” above Fetullah Gulen's FETO extrem organization.

Erdogan said Turkey submitted all evidence to the U.S. regarding Gulen’s extradition and Ankara now awaits a decision from Washington.

A total of 246 people, including members of the security forces and civilians, were martyred during the failed putsch.

Erdogan also mentioned the death penalty and said parliament is the body that will decide if the coup plotters would be executed.

"I said I will approve death penalty for coup plotters if parliament approves it," he said.

Regarding claims of a lack of freedom of the press in Turkey, Erdogan said he has never been anti-media but freedom of expression should never be a weapon.

Asked about the downing of a Russian fighter jet, Erdogan said: "Pilots who downed the Russian jet are in custody -- being questioned about Gulenist ties."

Relations between Turkey and Russian quickly soured following the downing of the jet Nov. 24 after it had violated Turkey’s air space despite multiple warnings from the Turkish military.

One of the jet's two pilots was killed while the other was rescued by Russian forces.

Erdogan also criticized France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, saying that “If he wants a lesson in democracy he can very easily get a lesson in democracy from us,” after Ayrault expressed concerns Sunday about purges in Turkey following the failed coup.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Temmuz 2016, 11:57