FETO terror group 'threatens humanity as a whole': Turkish foreign minister
All countries must make united and determined response to FETO terrorist threat, says Mevlut Cavusoglu 6 years after defeated coup attempt by terror group
Marking the sixth anniversary of the July 15, 2016 defeated coup attempt in Türkiye by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the terrorist group’s main objective was to establish a "radical, fundamentalist regime loyal only to their ringleader, Fetullah Gulen."
"The plotters killed 251 innocent civilians and left thousands injured. On that night, the Turkish people defended democracy with their lives," Cavusoglu wrote in an op-ed for Ta Nea, a daily in neighboring Greece.
Cavusoglu said the Turkish people’s resilience in defending democracy that night "was something the conspirators failed to foresee."
"FETO-affiliated army units left their barracks to occupy key locations such as the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, and fighter jets and attack helicopters bombed strategic targets including the parliament, presidential compound, army and police headquarters," he said, stressing that six years ago on that night, thousands of Turkish people took to the streets "to stop this unprecedented, heinous coup attempt.”
FETO orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in Türkiye in which 251 people were killed 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.
No such thing as ‘useful’ terrorist group
Urging the international community to stand in solidarity with Türkiye in the fight against terrorism, Cavusoglu stressed that "terrorism has no nationality, ethnicity, or religion."
"This menace threatens humanity as a whole. Therefore, the response to this threat must be united and determined," he said.
With FETO terrorists responsible for the "the loss of hundreds of lives as well as other grave crimes against the Turkish people … no state has the luxury to differentiate between terrorists, and no terrorist group can be classified as ‘useful’," he stressed.
True colors of FETO terror group
In his op-ed, Cavusoglu also explained the true colors of the FETO terror group, pointing out how that it was founded in the late 1960s in the guise of a so-called "religious movement,” and “managed to cover its malign intentions" under the cloak of "promoting education and inter-religious dialogue."
Moreover, for years, the terror group "controlled a significant portion of educational institutions" in Türkiye and "owned numerous financial institutions," he said, adding that "their bank accounts were fed by prominent FETO members in industry and commerce as well as by officials and members of the public."
Touching on how many fell into the trap of FETO, Cavusoglu said "many innocent civilians were also lured into contributing to FETO’s finances as their piety was manipulated."
The massive profits the terror group reaped via its educational institutions both in Türkiye and across the world "was channeled into these accounts clandestinely, waiting for their ultimate move," namely the putsch bid, he said.
Cavusoglu said the coup attempt was the final phase of an "overarching plan" of the FETO terror group, which for decades clandestinely infiltrated the Turkish army, law enforcement, the judiciary, and numerous government institutions, including the Foreign Ministry.
'Democracy would not have existed in Türkiye'
Cavusoglu said that if the FETO terror group had ever succeeded in its attempt to overthrow Türkiye’s legitimate government, "democracy would not have existed and fundamental rights and freedoms would have been suspended indefinitely."
"The nation would have fallen into the hands of an extremist government," he warned.
Thanks to the hundreds of people who protected Turkish democracy at the cost of their lives, after the coup attempt the Turkish state cleansed government institutions and the military as well as the private sector of FETO-affiliated individuals and firms.
While many prominent coup conspirators were apprehended, others "escaped justice and found refuge in foreign countries," Cavusoglu said.
Noting that the Turkish government has been requesting the extradition of FETO ringleader Gulen from the US, where he currently resides, as well as the extradition of other FETO members from European countries, Cavusoglu said that "unfortunately, these requests have not been fulfilled yet."
However, he stressed that "a growing number of governments understand the danger this terrorist organization also poses to them and are taking the necessary steps."
Not just in Türkiye but also in many other countries, FETO members are being cleared from the public and private sectors, and many schools abroad affiliated with the terror group have been transferred to Türkiye’s Maarif Foundation, he added.
"The nature and scope of Türkiye’s fight against FETO is no different than that exercised by other countries against organizations which terrorized officials and civilians alike and endangered democratic values and fundamental rights and freedoms," he said.
Noting that all procedures used in the fight against the FETO terror group are "in compliance with the law," he highlighted Türkiye's determination in the fight against FETO.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.