TURKEY

Erdoğan aide underlines US terrorism report 'fails to explain' FETO's nature

ERDOĞAN AIDE UNDERLINES US TERRORISM REPORT FAILS TO EXPLAIN FETOS NATURE

Turkey's Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın told reporters that US report on terrorism fails to explain FETO's nature.

Presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said on Thursday the latest U.S. State Department report on terrorism fails to explain the nature of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) that Turkey holds responsible for the deadly July 15 defeated coup.

Addressing a news conference in the capital Ankara, Kalın said while it was significant the U.S. Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 included FETO, it did not explain the terror group.

"We care about it; however, we should say the report fails in explaining FETO's nature," he said.

According to the U.S. report: "Turkey's National Security Council designated the religious movement of self-exiled Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen a terrorist organization on May 26, referring to it as the 'Fethullah Terrorist Organization' ('FETO').

"The government asserts that the Gulen movement planned and led the July 15 coup attempt, which killed more than 240 people and injured more than 2,100 people, and included attacks on the parliament. The government instituted a three-month state of emergency on July 21, subsequently extending it another three months on Oct. 19.

"According to government sources, as of Nov. 22, more than 86,000 civil servants were dismissed from public service via government-issued state of emergency decrees following the coup attempt for their alleged affiliation with, or support of, 'FETO'.

"As of Oct. 8, authorities had arrested nearly 35,000 suspects on charges related to Gulen affiliation. The Gulf Cooperation Council designated 'FETO' a terrorist organization on Oct. 13. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation did the same on Oct. 19."

Ankara accuses FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen of having plotted the defeated coup, which martyred 250 people and injured nearly 2,200 others.

FETO is also accused of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

The spokesman further reiterated Turkey's expectation from Europe and America to extradite FETO members including its leader Fetullah Gulen.

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