TURKEY

We are fighting terrorism, says Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu

WE ARE FIGHTING TERRORISM, SAYS TURKISH FM ÇAVUŞOĞLU

Cavusoglu says Ankara trying to determine difference between 'real democratic opposition and those who support terrorism'

Turkey's foreign minister has said being a journalist does not entitle an individual to commit crime.

Mevlut Cavusoglu was speaking in Brussels on Tuesday during a series of high-level talks with EU officials.

At a news conference with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Turkish EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik, Cavusoglu said: "Having the identity of a journalist does not justify committing any crime."

"We are fighting with terrorist organizations. We suffered a coup attempt and we did not receive adequate support from the EU. We started to receive adequate support after one year, but support with statements."

He added whoever was inside the failed coup of July 15, 2016 in Turkey or supported the plot -- whether a soldier, a police officer, a politician or a journalist -- were all the same.

"Therefore if we do not know the difference between a real democratic opposition and those who support terrorism; the problem starts there," Cavusoglu said.

He also said Turkey was ready to share information with the EU regarding this.

The minister said an ongoing state of emergency in Turkey was operating in compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights and did not differ from similar measures currently in place in France.

FETO

Cavusoglu said the EU's failure to recognize the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) as a terrorist group meant it saw every step by the Turkish government as a violation of the law.

He said Taner Kilic, chairman of Amnesty International Turkey -- and currently in detention -- had communicated with senior FETO figures abroad through the ByLock smartphone messaging app.

Cavusoglu said Kilic had been remanded in custody but that "does not mean Turkey is against Amnesty International; it is related with the person".

Kilic was remanded in custody on June 10 in Izmir, western Turkey.

ByLock was allegedly used by FETO members during last year's coup attempt. The app is believed to have been cracked by Turkish security agencies, allowing them to identify tens of thousands of apparent FETO supporters.

Turkey accuses FETO of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and some 2,200 injured.

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