(Pakistan Point News - APP - 22nd july,2016) When asked on Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan's request of extraditing Fethullah Gulen now living in the U.S., he referred to the statement by the American Vice President Joe Biden that Washington would do what was necessary if it was given the evidence on Gulen's involvement in the coup. "The terrorist will be punished strictly in accordance with the law," he said, quelling all speculations in this regard, and billing it an attempt to distort facts.
He told a questioner that until now no final decision had been taken to introduce death penalty but this was demanded by the people who saw a very tiny number of soldiers, shooting on the parliament and on their own people using the hijacked helicopters and F-16 jets during the failed coup which lasted for five to six hours. However, he made it clear the death penalty would be introduced if it was approved by the Turkish parliament.
Giving details of those behind the coup, the Turkish envoy said the immediate personal staff officer to the Chief of General Staff of Turkish Forces, took hostage his own boss. He was planted by the Gulen organization as a young cadet in the Army who rose to the rank of the colonel. This officer had placed a listening device to spy on his boss and the information later was shared to a teacher with connections with the terrorist organization Gulen.
The officer is repentant on his actions and requested that Turkish regret law be applied to him as he was ready to cooperate with the authorities, the envoy said while referring to the media reports on this count. Under regret law the punishment of an accused could be reduced if cooperates, he said. Giving the latest figures, he said of the 7,423 detained personnel of the Armed Forces, 218 had been charged who would be tried in the court while investigation was underway against others.
Out of the coup plotters, 24 have been identified while 50 of the captured were wounded, he said adding, the number could change as investigation was still going on. He said all the Deans of the universities had been asked by Higher education Council to resign but they can be reappointed after they were cleared by the authorities. He clarified that people in bureaucracy who were suspected to be involved, were being suspended until they were cleared after probe.
Video clips on the occasion were also shown to the journalists which highlighted scenes of tanks running over people on the roads and gunship helicopters attacking the parliament building which was in an emergency session as the failed coup was still underway. On the imposition of the state of emergency in Turkey on Thursday, he said it was sanctioned by 75 per cent of the parliament. The envoy saif the decision would empower the government to ask people surrender their arms which can be returned to them later or the authorities could conduct search anywhere on the basis of suspicion.
It also allows the government to issue decrees for three months, he said, adding that all these powers would be used against the terrorists. Pakistanis are in a best position to understand Turkish fight against terrorism as they themselves were it victims of the scourge, he said. Fielding another question, he said it was not correct that media had been gagged in Turkey as there was very strong opposition media. However, if the journalists were involved in illegal activities, they would be tried under the law of the land, he added. He said no one was allowed to be disrespectful to the Turkish President as he represented the nation and if someone did such a thing, the law would take its course.