Prime Minister Tammam Salam received on Friday at the Grand Serail the Turkish Ambassador to Lebanon, Cagatay Erciyes, with talks touching on the latest political and security developments in Turkey.
“Discussions featured high on the failed coup that took place in Turkey on July 15,” the ambassador said in the wake of the meeting, assuring that “the thwarted coup was conducted by a group of conspirators within the Army to overthrow the democratically elected government and the constitutional system in Turkey.”
“The coup attempt has been defeated by our President, our Prime Minister, our government, our Members of Parliament and our Turkish people, through clinging to democracy and to the rule of law,” he said.
“As you have seen on TV, the Turkish people have shown historic solidarity and unity by courageously taking to the streets. The coup was foiled in less than 24 hours but, unfortunately, 246 people died and 1536 others got injured in the process,” Ambassador Erciyes said.
“We have strong evidence that the terrorist Fethullah Gulen Organization is the one behind the coup attempt,” he asserted.
“I explained to Premier Salam the risk of this terrorist organization which has managed to set up a secret network within the Turkish state structure. (…) It tried to create an illegal parallel State within the State,” he said, noting that investigations conducted after the attempted coup have resulted in the arrest of 10410 and the imprisonment of 4060 persons.
“During my meeting with PM Salam, we tackled the state of emergency imposed in Turkey on Thursday as per the decision of the Turkish parliament and according to our Constitution, with full compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights,” he explained, stressing that this measure will not affect the Turkish citizens’ basic rights and freedoms.
“The democratic structure of the State will be protected, and we will continue to uphold the rule of law.”
“I would like to clarify, mainly to our Lebanese friends, that the state of emergency in Turkey will not affect the tourism sector,” the ambassador said, finally uttering appreciation to the Premier and to every Lebanese who condemned the coup and stood by Turkey and its people.
On a different note, Premier Salam received the newly appointed commander-in-chief of the UNIFIL, General Michael Perry, who came to the Grand Serail on a protocol visit.
Amongst the Grand Serail visitors for today was the Ambassador of Austria to Lebanon, Ursula Fahringer, who came on a farewell visit upon the end of her diplomatic mission in Beirut.
Source: National News Agency