Bekir Bozdag says that what Osama bin Laden was for the US and Europe, FETO leader Fetullah Gulen is for Turkey
On the eve of the first anniversary of the deadly July 15 coup attempt in Turkey, the country's justice minister urged the U.S. and EU to heed its warnings about the threat of FETO, the group behind the coup bid.
Bekir Bozdag warned that if the U.S. and EU states fail to take seriously Turkey's justified warnings of FETO being a national security threat to all states they are active in, "In 20 years time, they will face more serious burdens than Turkey did, and they will regret not listening to Turks."
Bozdag was addressing local and foreign journalists in the capital Ankara at an event commemorating last year's coup, which was committed by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen.
The FETO network plotted to overthrow the government as the culmination of a long-running campaign to infiltrate the country’s institutions, including the military, police, and judiciary. The network has similarly infiltrated institutions such as the educational system in other countries.
In Turkey, at least 250 people were martyred and 2,193 others injured in the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Bozdag strongly rejected allegations by some media outlets that the coup had been "controlled” by the state, calling them part of a “well-planned dirty misinformation campaign."
He called on all countries to be fair and objective towards Turkey.
Stressing the rule of law in Turkey, Bozdag added that there are “no different rules for the putschists or other citizens."
He also said that hearings on the coup-plotters are being held publicly and the case files are open to everyone.
About the extradition of FETO members, including Gulen, who lives in self-exile in Pennsylvania, Bozdag argued that both the U.S. and European countries have failed to take necessary steps.
"I want to clearly say that what Osama bin Laden was for the United States and for European people, Fetullah Gulen means the same for Turkey and Turkish people," he explained.