Turkish leader praises Moldova fighting FETO terrorism

Turkish President Erdogan discusses bilateral ties with Moldovan counterpart Dodon visiting him in capital Ankara

Enes Kaplan   | 30.12.2019
Turkish leader praises Moldova fighting FETO terrorism


Turkey expects Moldova to expand cooperation by transferring schools run by the terror group FETO to responsible ownership, said Turkey’s president after meeting with his Moldovan counterpart in the Turkish capital Ankara. 

"We thank Moldova for its cooperation in fighting FETO and extraditing its members to Turkey," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters after meeting with Igor Dodon at the presidential complex. 

Erdogan said Turkey expects schools run by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) -- the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey -- to be transferred to the Maarif Foundation, a Turkish educational foundation. 

“Moldova’s Education Ministry and Turkey's Maarif Foundation can jointly work on the issue,” he said.

Erdogan also stressed Turkey's cooperation with Moldova on security. 

He said Turkey helped a Moldovan mother and her two children who suffered persecution at the hands of the terrorist group Daesh/ISIS return to their home. 

 "I believe that our Moldovan friends will keep supporting our fight [against FETO] with the same understanding," he said 

Speaking to reporters after a high-level strategic cooperation council meeting, Erdogan also stressed cultural and economic ties.


Turkic people in Moldova

The leaders also talked about the contributions of ethnic Turkic people living in the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia to developing relations between the two countries. 

Gagauzia is an autonomous region in Moldova that is home to a mostly Gagauz population -- an Orthodox Christian, Turkic community.

Erdogan said Gagauz Turks are one of the strongest bridges pf friendship between Moldova and Turkey. 

Erdogan said Turkey will open a consulate in Comrat, Gagauzia’s capital, to help strengthen relations. 


Trade ties

Erdogan said Turkey is determined to achieve a $1 billion trade volume with Moldova, adding that trade has gone up 850% over the last 16 years. 

He said Turkey carried out over 400 projects in Moldova over the last year alone and the value of Turkish investments in Moldova has risen to $300 million. 

Officials of the two countries also signed agreements on freight shipments, security, transportation, and culture to develop and ease the mutual trade volume. 


FETO terrorism

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 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. 

FETO has a considerable presence abroad, including private schools which serve as a revenue stream for the terror group. 

* Writing by Fahri Aksut

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