One year ago the Turkish Republic experienced a coup attempt on the night of July 15. As we expressed in a statement which was published in the international media immediately after the attempted coup: “Interventions against democracy can only be prevented by further raising democratic standards and strengthening the rule of law.” Security and freedom are not mutually exclusive, on the contrary, they are fundamental priorities that complement one another.
We as a society are being tested on our democracy. Our people, the President of the Republic, Parliament, Government, political parties, and all segments of civil society defended our democracy on the night of July 15, 2016. We remember with respect and gratitude our citizens who gave their lives fighting against the coup attempt.
Immediately after the attempted coup, we made a point of reiterating our recurrent message to all of our global networks through counterpart organizations in the business world, our international representative offices, and external partners of our member companies: “Our belief in Turkey’s democratic future is absolute.”
As a society, our struggle for democracy must shape the future. Turkey can only overcome the trauma created by July 15 with social understanding and pluralism and as a country of freedoms, justice, and prosperity. Turkey’s most effective defense against the dark intentions behind the attempted coup is normalization and strengthening of the reform agenda in line with our national interests, as soon as possible. Our priorities for a strong, unified and democratic Turkey are as follows:
- A modern democratic order based on separation of powers and checks and balances; a strong parliament; and an independent and impartial judiciary;
- A decisive commitment to the EU accession process which is one of the most effective sources of democratic standards and global competitiveness;
- Advancing a modern approach to education, gender equality, and employment standards in all social fields;
- Embracing all aspects of the industrial revolution by achieving digital transformation and quickly developing capacity in science, technology and innovation
The most effective struggle against political organizations opposed to our country and terrorist organizations like FETÖ, PKK, and ISIS, is progress in these areas with an understanding of national unity and pluralism.
A country where individual, cultural, political and economic freedoms, and especially freedom of thought and expression, are sources of virtue, pride, and international influence, will be stronger in the 21st century. As TÜSİAD we will continue to stand and work for universal democratic principles and the values of our Republic.