Turkey’s ‘Coup Plotters’, Death Penalty and European Union

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Dr Shahid Qureshi speaking to HE Binali Yildrim Prime Minister of Turkey at his official residence 15 July 2016 (Ankara few hours before the coup attempt)

By Dr Shahid Qureshi:-

Turkey is now facing psychological warfare from the backer of the 15th July 2016 failed ‘coup’ which was / is fully supported by their ‘media regiments’ including CNN. The powerful words like ‘rape, torture, detentions’ are used in news stories in electronic and print media to incite hatreds and bad feelings among their own public and portraying coup plotters as some innocent shoplifters. These media organisations have already lost their ‘credibility’ of un bias and honest news reporting since invasion and occupation of Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan. They are part of the military warfare operations against Turkey.

The reality is that those countries who are responsible for the deaths, destruction and displacements of millions of Muslim people especially in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Libya and yet have a ‘cheek’ to lecture other countries about human rights, justice and rule of law. For example, US and its allies have killed millions since 1940, nuclear bombed Japan twice, have used semi nuclear arms in Afghanistan and Iraq against civilians, killed thousands with drones in Pakistan in the name of so called war on terror and yet claim to be civilized and champions of human rights.

DSQ in Ankara 15 July 2016
Dr Shahid Qureshi talking to the Turkish Prime Minister HE Binali Yildrim on 15 July 2016 at Prime Minister House in Ankara – Turkey

I am personally witness to the events of coup in Turkey as I was with HE Prime Minister Binali Yildrim just few hours before the coup in Ankara on 15th July 2016 as a speaker on International Media conference in Konya. I was speaking on ‘EU Refugee Crisis and Brexit’ at the conference.

During our meeting at the Prime Minister House in Ankara, I said to the Turkish Prime Minister HE Binali Yildrim: “US leader Henry Kissinger once said: it is irrelevant if US punishes its enemies or not but it definitely punishes its friends’. The reason you have over 3 million Syrian refugees and facing worst kind of terrorism is because of the policies of your friend USA and NATO allies.

Pakistan is a victim of similar US and NATO policy since 1979 USSR invasion of Afghanistan and US occupation in 2002. Over 3 million Afghan refugees are on Pakistani soil for over 35 years and a sinister wave of terrorism caused billions of US$ damage to the properties, infrastructure, roads, bridges, lost over 5000 soldiers and over 90,000 civilians.”

So Your Excellency instead of moving ‘round and round’ in circles you should go direct to your friends USA and NATO allies and tell them that: “your (NATO – USA) policies in this region are damaging Turkey gravely”.

In response the HE Binali Yildrim said: “I agree with your analysis and we do raise these issues with the US and NATO allies. Later speaking to me informally the Prime Minister’s aide (Foreign Secretary) said: “what you have said we do raise these matters with the concerned countries i.e. US, NATO and EU”.

I told him that: “Pakistan has done all that is possible for US and NATO apart from turning into a woman but US demands of ‘do more’ are never ending. The reason US could cause all this damage to its ally and friend, Pakistan is because of ‘corrupt politicians and generals like Pervez Musharraff’. Pakistan was member of SEATO and SENTO but according to small print of the agreements US did not help Pakistan in 1965 war with India instead put arms embargo in the middle of the September 1965 war. The US 6th fleet never arrived in East Pakistan in 1971, to support which resulted in disintegration of Pakistan.

Now a reasonable question come to mind is how US and others were able to damage both Pakistan and Turkey in the guise of a friendship? That could be possible only if they had such a treacherous kind of generals in the armed forces and civilian officers in the government within their regimes as well as a corrupt political class. The syndication and treachery of all the above three caused deaths and destruction in both Turkey and Pakistan”. Both cannot be cured without the eradication of these three cancerous group of individuals.

For example, in 2008 when corrupt and criminal Asif Zardari become President of Pakistan he immediately put a moratorium on capital punishment and provided relief to the terrorists as well as terror financing mafia groups within the system of government. Nawaz Sharif continued with this policy of criminal and terror appeasement. So on the one hand US and NATO were bombing Pakistan and on the other hand terrorists and criminals were killing civilians but no one was hanged even those who were already granted death penalty by the courts. Both President Asif Zardari and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lied to the people of Pakistan by saying: ‘if we grant death penalty to the criminals and terrorists EU and West will put sanctions on Pakistan.

When Turkish President Tayyab Erdogan made a statement about re-instating death penalty subject to the approval of the Parliament in the aftermath of the failed coup in which hundreds have lost their lives and thousands are injured at the hands of coup plotters on 15 – 16 July 2016, some people said that: EU and US will object to this decision of awarding death penalty to traitors.

Any reasonable person will be thinking on the one hand these captured failed coup plotters who are allegedly found to have links with the foreign friendly capitals within EU and NATO and on the other hand same capitals will be objecting these ‘traitors’ to be brought to Justice??

Surely we know that ‘Capital Punishment’ (Execution or Death by Hanging or Electrocuted Death on Chair) is legal in USA, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and others. The European Union (EU) continues to do business with them and never objected. Why to object in Turkey?

I wrote to the European Union to clarify their position in the after math of the Peshawar Massacre of Children in the Army Public School on 19/12/14 and within hours European Union sent me the following response after consulting their experts:

Dear Dr (Shahid) Qureshi
 “Pakistan was granted a Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) trade arrangement as from 1 January this year (2104).  The moratorium on executions is not a GSP + precondition and is not part of any of the 27 core conventions under the GSP+ scheme. 
 
That being said, in the process leading up the granting of GSP+ by the EU, and as part of Pakistan’s effort to show its commitment and willingness to make significant progress on human rights, the Government of Pakistan undertook to maintain the de facto moratorium, which has been in place since 2008.

The position of the EU is well known: we are against the death penalty in all circumstances because we believe it is not an effective deterrent and is an irreversible form of punishment. 
 
After the horrific massacre in Peshawar, the EU High Representative and European Commission Vice President Frederica Mogherini issued a statement expressing her shock and heartfelt condolences, reiterating the commitment of the EU to tackle the threat posed by terrorism and to further assist the Pakistani Government.”

I sent the above European Union response to British Human Rights Lawyer Barrister Amjad Malik for comment.

Barrister Amjad Malik said: “Lifting ban on moratorium does not affect GSP plus status as long as Pakistan is committed to improvement on human rights and due process of law”.  

So the bottom line for the Turkish Government is as long as due process of law is followed in cases of these coup plotters specifically, European Union and others should not have any objection as all countries have their own special circumstances linked to the ‘national security’ and so is Turkey in this case.

No one should be allowed to make a criminal issue a moral one.

(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Kazakhstan 2015 and 2016 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ and also studied Law at a British University)

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