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Turkey has shielded Europe from terrorism, PM Yıldırım says

TURKEY HAS SHIELDED EUROPE FROM TERRORISM, PM YILDIRIM SAYS

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said at ILO meeting on Monday that Turkey was playing an important role in the region for establishing peace and blocking terrorist activities.

Turkey has paid the highest price for instability in the Middle East and has done its best to prevent it from spreading to Europe, the Turkish prime minister said on Monday.

Speaking at the European Regional Meeting of the International Labor Organization (ILO), Binali Yıldırım said Turkey was playing an important role in the region for establishing peace and blocking terrorist activities.

"Turkey has made great efforts to prevent the spread of terrorism rising from Syria, Iraq and the Middle East to the Balkans and Europe," said Yıldırım.

He added that Turkey was paying the highest price for any kind of instability in Iraq, Syria, Jerusalem and Palestine.

"But we are making a great sacrifice not to make our European friends pay that price," he said, stressing that Turkey decreased the refugee influx to Europe through the Aegean Sea and land routes.

"While we are waiting for these efforts to be recognized [by Europe], we are saddened when we hear reproachful statements, and when FETO members and PKK sympathizers are embraced," he added.

Turkey blames U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen and his Fetullah Terrorist Organization [FETO] for orchestrating last July's defeated coup, which martyred 250 people and injured more than 2,200.

More than 1,200 people, including security force personnel and civilians, have lost their lives since the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July 2015.

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