Turkey urges Greece to stop FETÖ propaganda, extradite terrorists
The Turkish Foreign Ministry slammed the propaganda of Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) on a live broadcast on a Greek television channel, calling it a “worrying development.”
Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy criticized the incident, saying that the “terrorist propaganda,” which involved the broadcast of FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen, is a “worrying development that cannot be justified with freedom of the press or expression.”
Aksoy continued by noting that FETÖ a putschist organization is responsible for killing 251 people during the coup attempt in 2016 and also poses a threat to the countries that it operates in.
“Turkey expects cooperation from all countries against this criminal organization,” Aksoy said.
Aksoy’s criticism came after a Greek TV channel promoted a pro-FETÖ book and the book’s publisher praised terrorist leader Gülen as a religious scholar.
The spokesperson also noted that Greece has become a safe haven for FETÖ fugitives, who can freely roam in the country as FETÖ-linked so-called NGOs carry out operations to collect money for the group.
“We urge Greece to respond to our requests regarding the extradition of FETÖ members, freezing their assets, prevent their propaganda, financing and recruitment activities and end the activities of terrorist groups in their country,” Aksoy said.
Turkey has sought the extradition of 64 suspects from Greece.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, in which 251 people were killed and nearly 2,200 injured.
After the July 15 coup attempt, eight soldiers, including two commanders, four captains and two sergeants, escaped to Greece on a Sikorsky helicopter and landed in Alexandroupolis. Following their landing, the eight suspected FETÖ members asked for asylum from Greek authorities.
Turkey 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.
Over 8,000 FETÖ members crossed into Greece in the past 3 1/2 years, as Turkey criticizes the country for ignoring Ankara’s calls for international cooperation against the terrorist group.
Turkey has repeatedly accused Greece of being a haven for terrorists who committed crimes against the Turks.
Athens recently angered Ankara over a string of asylum decisions and the release of terrorist suspects wanted by Ankara.
Apart from FETÖ, Greece has been criticized for harboring members of far-left terrorist groups. Greek courts previously ordered the release of members of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), which is recognized as a terrorist group by the EU and the U.S.
This article originally appeared in DAILY SABAH on 12 March 2021.