TURKEY

Turkey praises Pakistan's support in fight against FETÖ

TURKEY PRAISES PAKISTANS SUPPORT IN FIGHT AGAINST FETÖ

Turkey is grateful for Pakistan's support in fight against the Fetullah Terror Organization (FETÖ) following last year's defeated coup, the country's deputy prime minister said on Tuesday.

"Both the Pakistani and our government are in solidarity in the fight against FETÖ," Bekir Bozdağ told a visiting Pakistani press delegation and the Pakistani ambassador to Turkey, Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi, in Ankara.

"FETÖ schools in Pakistan were transferred to the Turkish Maarif Foundation within the framework of a reconciliation between the two countries," he said. "This is quite important development. So, I thank [Pakistan] so much."

The Maarif Foundation is the only institution authorized to open schools on behalf of Turkey abroad.

According to the Turkish government, the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

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

"Pakistan stood by Turkey [after the defeated coup]. It stood by our government, the parliament and the president. We are also thankful to the people of the State of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and their administrators," he said.

'Strengthen our countries'

Noting that both Pakistan and Turkey had both experienced numerous coups in the past and paid a price on the path to democracy, Bozdağ said the two countries had not given up on their efforts for democracy.

"This is the greatest factor, which strengthens our countries," he added.

The two countries could further increase trade volume, cooperation between universities and could have "serious" cooperation in the economy sector, Bozdağ said.

"I believe the relations between the two countries will further strengthen in the coming years, but the people [in both countries] should better know each other [first]," the deputy premier added.

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