Treat FETO in South Africa as ‘foreign agents’: MP
Members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) should be treated as foreign agents in South Africa, the head of the Turkish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee said Tuesday.
"I know that a group which we call FETO is available in South Africa. Actually, I know this is their second (largest) base in the world after the United States," Taha Ozhan told a business meeting in Johannesburg.
"These people are available in South Africa. Usually I mean after this point, they should be treated as foreign agents because they cannot explain to you the reason for their existence," he said.
FETO is believed to be behind the July 15, 2016 defeated coup attempt in Turkey.
The legislator said prior to the coup attempt, members of the Gulen group in South Africa would claim they were promoting Turkish culture and education, but that opportunity is gone.
According to Turkey's government, FETO leader Fetullah Gulen, a resident of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, masterminded the defeated coup, which left at least 248 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara has also said FETO is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
The terrorist group is also known for its network of hundreds of schools around the world.
Ozhan recalled that he was in Ankara during the fateful night of the coup attempt where people were being killed on streets and bridges.
He said people from different backgrounds united and believe the attack was the work of Gulen.
A Turkish parliamentary delegation is currently visiting South Africa to talk about relations.