Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

NGOs visit support for Turkish Armed Forces

01.12.2020 / Ankara

Following the rhetoric against the Turkish Armed Forces, under the chairmanship of M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), TESK President Bendevi Palandöken, TİSK Vice President Celal Koloğlu, Hak-İş Chairman Mahmut Arslan, Türk-İş Chairman Ergün Atalay, Turkish Kamu-Sen Chairman Önder Kahveci, Memur-Sen Chairman Ali Yalçın and Turkish Harb-İş Union President Alaattin Soydan​

In addition to Minister Akar, Chief of Staff General Yaşar Güler, , Commander of the Ground Forces General Ümit Dündar, Commander of the Naval Forces Admiral Adnan Özbal, Commander of the Air Force General Hasan Kucukakyüz and Deputy Ministers Yunus Emre Karaosmanoğlu, Alpaslan Kavaklıoğlu, Şuay Alpay and Muhsin Dere also attended the meeting at the Ministry of National Defense.

TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the delegation represents all organized non-governmental professional organizations in Turkey and said that they are always grateful to the TAF.

Underlining the concept of “military nation”, Hisarcıklıoğlu recalled the proverb, “water sleeps, the enemy does not.” Hisarcıklıoğlu said: “The enemy is not sleeping. Our army is constantly on alert with all its elements. For that reason, we are comfortable living in this country both as citizens and while doing business. Our army is one of NATO’s most powerful. It is fulfilling our responsibilities in NATO to the letter. The meaning of our military is well known in the NATO alliance. It shows the world that it is a reliable partner in NATO operations as well as at NATO Headquarters. You gave the necessary answer to terrorist organizations and their supporters with Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch, Peace Spring operations, and we, as citizens, were very pleased with this. In addition to Syria, you have made this nation proud in the Eastern Mediterranean, Libya, Qatar and now Karabakh.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu, who also expressed their pride in Turkey's achievements in the field of defense industry, said, “The army is the apple in the eye of our country. The honor of our country and our nation. This nation has made all kinds of sacrifices for its honor and will continue to do so.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu also expressed their preparedness to fulfill any task that falls to them.

- Minister Akar: “We strongly condemn and reject”

Referring to the importance of solidarity, National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said, “We will encourage and support each other in good deeds. We'll give you all the help we can. That's our goal, that's our mission; that's what a nation is. Those who go forward are always those who work in this way.”

“We must not break our unity, our integrity, we must continue our solidarity on these issues more than ever,” Akar said, stressing that any discrimination would cause vulnerability.

Reacting to the statements against the Turkish Armed Forces, Akar said: “For whatever reason, it is really a waste of time for someone to come out and use the Armed Forces, the army as a subject and put it side by side with the word 'sold out'. No matter what the purpose, the how, the reason. Such a thing cannot be talked about, we strongly condemn it; we reject it. That can't happen. Within the current framework, TAF is doing what needs to be done within the legal order. Transparency is at an extreme stage. It's open to all. The relevant, competent institutions of the state can come and inspect everything at any time. It's all open; there are no secrets. However, it really upsets us to deal with such statements.”

- Chief of Staff Güler

General Yaşar Güler, TAF Chief of Staff, also thanked the delegation for the support visit. Güler said that the visit made them happy, “The Turkish Armed Forces have successfully fulfilled every task given to them on land, sea and air. It will continue to successfully fulfill it with its life. It was very wrong, for an MP to use such a phrase as 'sold out' for our Armed Forces. I believe the law will do the right thing. We are not demoralized in any way, on the contrary, we will continue to do our duties more determinedly.”

TESK President Bendevi Palandöken said they had the same feelings, adding, “Strong army, strong nation hand in hand. It's the best.”

Hak-İş Chairman Mahmut Arslan expressed the same feelings. Reminiscing on Atatürk's emphasis on “We must keep the domestic front intact”, Arslan said, “We need to do what we can and ensure the solidarity and unity inside. At such a moment, we are truly sorry for such statements that our military and ministry do not deserve. I believe our nation would never agree nor approve of them. Don't get upset about it, commanders. Our nation is with you.”

TİSK Vice President Celal Koloğlu stated that he is from Elazığ and used the phrase common to his hometown “I would sacrifice myself to Allah of our army and our commanders.”

Turkish Harb-İş Union President Alaattin Soydan, who spoke after Türk-İş President Ergün Atalay, said that as a union, they act with the understanding that “when it is a matter of country, everything else is incidental.”

Kamu-Sen Chairman Ali Yalçın said that TAF would sacrifice its life only for its country and its nation. Yalçın said that TAF personnel should not be demoralized because of these statements. Rhetoric should not demoralize people with, but on the contrary, increase their enthusiasm.”

Turkey's Kamu-Sen Chairman Önder Kahveci also noted that they are an important non-governmental organization integrated with Turkey's values. Emphasizing that the strong army is at the heart of existing in this region, Kahveci said, “Every citizen should understand this and show sensitivity at this point. From time to time, there are those who show such inappropriate behavior, but know that the Turkish nation does not take any of this into account.”

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