Group behind last July's attempted putsch in Turkey also poses danger to Japan, Mevlut Cavusoglu says
The group said to have orchestrated last year’s coup attempt in Turkey poses a major threat to Japan, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday.
“FETO is also very active in Japan and poses a big threat here,” he said, referring to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization in a speech on Middle East developments at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
Cavusoglu said some FETO members were tied to foreign intelligence agencies. “We had to remove 25 percent of our diplomats, who were not affiliated with the state but with FETO,” he told the audience in Tokyo.
Turkey blames FETO, led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, of arranging last July’s coup attempt, which left 250 dead.
Since the coup, Turkey has arrested tens of thousands of suspected FETO supporters and dismissed more than 100,000 public servants from across the government.
Turning to the conflict in Syria, Cavusoglu said the war had “become a global problem by overflowing from the Middle East.”
Two Japanese journalists were murdered by Daesh in Syria in January 2015.
“The best solution is a political solution but if the truce is not ensured, this option is difficult to adopt,” Cavusoglu said.
PKK/PYD in Syria
The minister, who is on a two-day visit to Japan, the first by a Turkish foreign minister in 14 years, said the arming of the PKK/PYD would create future problems in Syria.
“Giving weapons to a terror organization like PYD/YPG, just because the ideology is different from Daesh, is a threat to Syria’s future,” he said, using an alternative acronym for the group.
“Trying to correct a mistake with another mistake and categorizing terror organizations into good or bad is not a correct approach.”
The PKK/PYD is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU. However, the U.S. views the PKK/PYD as its ground ally against Daesh and has armed the group despite the protests of its NATO ally Turkey.
Cavusoglu said Turkey welcomed the change of crown prince in Saudi Arabia “with respect”. On Wednesday, King Salman promoted his son Mohammed bin Salman to the position in place of the prince’s cousin Mohammed bin Nayef.
Cavusoglu went on to reiterate that Turkey continued to lobby for a solution to the dispute between Qatar and many of its Arab neighbors, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
He said Turkey was looking forward to a conference on Cyprus on June 28.
Following his speech, Cavusoglu headed to meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Hiroshige Seko, the minister of economy, trade and industry.
Cavusoglu said Turkey and Japan were working on increasing Japanese investment in Turkey.