Turkish foreign ministry says the US State Department's report on terrorism, which alleges that Ankara’s counter-terror efforts restricted rights and freedom, undermines Turkiye's fight against terrorist groups.
Turkiye has rejected a new US State Department report on terrorism, saying it did not fairly evaluate Ankara’s fight against terrorist groups.
The Country Reports on Terrorism 2020, released on Thursday, undermines Turkiye’s fight against terrorist groups, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
On allegations in the report that Turkiye’s counter-terror efforts restricted rights and freedoms, the statement called them “baseless and unacceptable.”
Turkiye has been fighting against terrorist groups such as the PKK, DHKP-C, and Daesh, as well as contributing to international counter-terror efforts.
The country guards the thin line between security and freedom without differentiating between terror groups, the statement noted.
Turning a blind eye to PKK-affiliated groups
The US is well aware that the Syrian-based terrorist YPG/SDF, which the US supports under the guise of fighting Daesh, is under the control of the PKK, the ministry said in the statement.
The PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkiye, the US, and the EU – has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women and children, in over 35-years of terror campaign against Turkiye.
“It is unacceptable that terrorist attacks by PKK-affiliated groups targeting civilians, including hospitals, in Syria, resulting in the death of more than 120 innocent people in the last year, are not included in the report,” the statement read.
Moreover, the omission in the report of the terror group’s release of (Daesh) foreign fighters in return for a bribe is an effort to cover up the true intentions of the YPG/SDF, the ministry said.
‘Biased’ treatment of FETO terrorist threat
The report added that treatment of Turkiye’s legitimate fight against Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) is also biased, failing to consider the bloody 2016 coup bid it orchestrated and its history of criminal activities.
“It has been demonstrated with concrete evidence and judicial decisions that FETO is a ruthless terrorist organisation and criminal network,” the ministry said, adding that FETO is a threat to "every country in which it is active."
"Our expectation from the US is to end the presence and activities of FETO in its country without further delay, not to provide shelter for FETO members, including the FETO ringleader, and to cooperate with Turkiye in this field.”
Turkiye has long pressed the US for the extradition of Fetullah Gulen, FETO’s ringleader and the organiser of the July 15, 2016 defeated coup, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 injured.
Turkiye expects a consistent, determined and effective approach from the US and its allies in the fight against terrorism, the statement concluded.