Türkiye maintains fight against FETO terror group at home, abroad: Foreign minister

Türkiye's fight against the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) continues at home and abroad, the Turkish foreign minister said Friday.

"We continue our fight against these traitors within and outside of the country," Mevlut Cavusoglu said at an event to mark the sixth anniversary of FETO's defeated 2016 coup attempt in Türkiye.

"FETO members are no longer safe anywhere in the world and will never be safe. Wherever they are, they will end up in court sooner or later," said Cavusoglu at the event in the southern province of Antalya on Democracy and National Unity Day.

He said in their recent bid to join NATO, Sweden and Finland made a "written commitment" not to support FETO nor the YPG, which is the Syrian branch of the PKK terror group.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Spurred by Russia's war on Ukraine, Sweden and Finland formally applied to join the alliance in May but were met by objections from Türkiye, a longstanding member of the alliance, criticizing them for tolerating and even supporting terrorist groups.

Ahead of a NATO summit last month, Türkiye, Sweden and Finland signed an agreement allowing the two Nordic countries to become NATO members but conditions them to take steps because of Ankara's terrorism concerns and lift an arms embargo on the country.

"The memorandum we signed was included in the statement of the NATO leaders' summit, so it became a reference for all NATO members," noted Cavusoglu.

FETO was included as a terror group in the four-fold statement issued after s summit between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Togolese, Burkinabe and Liberian heads of state in October, he added.

Also, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Asian Parliamentary Assembly passed resolutions designating FETO as a terror group, while Pakistan's top court declared it a terror organization and banned its activities, said Cavusoglu.

"Our state, which was cleared of FETO members, is now much stronger," he said, adding that Türkiye managed to conduct the cross-border military operation, Euphrates Shield, in northwestern Syria a month and a half after the putsch.

He stressed that after clearing all state institutions of FETO terrorists, Türkiye had become more active than ever across a vast geography from Africa to the Caucasus and from the Black Sea to the Eastern Mediterranean. "It is no longer possible to talk about stability and peace in these geographies without Türkiye."

On the war in Ukraine, he said Türkiye is "the most important actor" working sincerely to end the conflict and solve the ensuing global food crisis. "In these matters, everyone has placed their hopes on Türkiye's efforts," he said.

The FETO terror group infiltrated all of Türkiye's state institutions in the 1960s, Cavusoglu said, including its Foreign Ministry.

- Defeated coup

Türkiye commemorated those killed during the defeated coup on Friday.

Since its designation in October 2016, every year, the country marks July 15 as Democracy and National Unity Day, with events held to commemorate those who lost their lives beating back the putschists and remembering the bravery of the nation.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 251 people dead and 2,734 injured.

Ankara also 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.

The attempt by FETO to overthrow the government began around 10 p.m. local time (1900GMT) and was thwarted by 8 a.m. the following day.

Standing against the threat, the Turkish people courageously showed the world that they would not tolerate any attempt to thwart their will as expressed through their democratically elected government./aa