Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday that members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) had not only infiltrated Turkish institutions but also US missions in the country.
His comments came a day after a Turkish court sentenced Metin Topaz, a US Consulate employee, to eight years and nine months in prison on charges of helping FETO, the terror group behind the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.
Shortly after the court’s decision, the US embassy questioned the decision, saying its observers “have seen no credible evidence to support this conviction and hope it will swiftly be overturned.”
In response, Hami Aksoy said Turkey anxiously observes how the US has become a safe haven for members of FETO.
“Essentially, Metin Topuz is not the only FETO affiliated person working in the US representative offices in our country. Also, Arif Yalcin, who was expelled from the Turkish Military Academy after the July 15 coup attempt and started to work in the US Embassy in October 2018, was arrested due to his links with FETO/PDY and transferred to the Silivri Prison,” he said.
Aksoy said Turkey’s repeated requests for extradition of FETO members in the US, including its ringleader, have fallen on deaf ears.
“This situation reveals the insensitive approach of the US to FETO terror group. Due to this approach of the US, we anxiously observe how the US has become a safe haven for members of the FETO terror group,” he said.
Stressing the importance of the rule of law principle in Turkey, Aksoy said the Turkish judiciary is independent.
Aksoy said Turkey will resolutely continue its fight against FETO, which has attacked the national unity and constitutional order of the country, on the basis of principles of universal law.
He also said that Turkey’s allies, which see themselves as the harbinger of democracy, freedom and rule of law, ignore these fundamental principles when it comes to terror groups that attack Turkey.
Lastly, he said Topuz has the right to appeal to the high court against the court decision within seven days.
According to the indictment, Topuz had been accused of having contacts with Zekeriya Oz, a key FETO fugitive, as well as former police chiefs and soldiers affiliated with the terrorist group and aiding in their activities.
He was also accused of four other crimes, including attempting to topple the Turkish government and espionage, but was acquitted on those charges due to lack of evidence. The court ruled for the continuation of his detention.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated July 15, 2016, foiled coup in Turkey, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
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