Young Turks in South Africa are fighting anti-Turkish propaganda by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated 2016 coup in Turkey.
There are groups in South Africa which “report news against Turkey meant to damage the image of our country,” said Hasan Huseyin Yigit, head of the Turkish-South African Youth Organization (TURKSAY), a group newly formed by young Turkish businesspeople and students living in the country to promote bilateral political, economic, and cultural ties.
Stressing that FETO members publish articles against Turkey in some newspapers, Yigit told Anadolu Agency that they stand against this situation together as Turkish youth.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and 2,734 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
To fight back the tide of FETO terror propaganda, Yigit said they published an article titled Terrorism is the enemy of all humanity in the weekend Argus newspaper to better promote Turkey in South Africa against FETO disinformation.
The piece’s main aim was to contribute to a better understanding of Turkey in South Africa, he said.
‘No discrimination in Turkey’
He added that the article also explained that there is no discrimination between Turkish and Kurdish people in the country as falsely claimed by FETO members and also highlighted Turkey’s fight against the PKK terrorist group.
Turkey is working to combat terrorism globally, he explained in the piece, adding that there is no institutionalized ethnic discrimination in the country “unlike the apartheid government” South Africa used to have.
On the group’s goals, Yigit said TURKSAY plans to carry out academic activities and social aid projects.
“We aim to bring the two countries closer to each other by collaborating with non-governmental organizations in South Africa and Turkey, along with media and academic studies,” he said.
The founding members of TURKSAY – founded this year – include Esma Atilla Karadag and Aydin Erdogan, doctoral students at the University of Cape Town, lawyer Goksen Efendi, and Cenk Hazar, a master’s student at the same university.
*Contributions and writing by Sena Guler