Turkey's extradition request for terror leader Gulen taken ‘more seriously’ in new US administration, Ankara envoy says.
The U.S. media failed to address last year’s defeated coup attempt in Turkey and the heroic actions of Turks on that night, Turkey’s ambassador to Washington said Friday.
“When a Chinese man stood in front of the tank at Tiananmen Square in China, he was introduced as a hero of democracy for many years,” Serdar Kilic said at a news conference at the Turkish embassy where Anadolu Agency opened a photo exhibition of the July 15 coup attempt. “Did you see any footage in the U.S. media about the Turkish people, who laid under the tanks on the July 15 terrorist attempt?”
Turkish officials accuse the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its leader, Fetullah Gulen, of plotting to overthrow its government with a campaign that managed to infiltrate the country’s institutions, including the military, police and the judiciary.
Kilic said authorities have been working to eradicate FETO’s network and when he was asked when Turkey would lift its state of emergency that was implemented following the overthrow attempt, his retort was whether the same question was asked of France that has been under a state of emergency since terror attacks there in 2015.
"France has declared state of emergency due to terror attacks, but Turkey was attacked by helicopters and aircrafts operated by military officers who were getting orders from the Fetullah Terrorist Organization," Kilic said.
"This is not a crackdown, purge or anything. This is a fight for our democracy and freedom," Kilic said as he urged the media to accurately describe steps the Turkish government has taken after the coup attempt that left 250 martyrs and nearly 2,200 injured.
Kilic said President Donald Trump's administration takes Turkey's extradition request for Gulen “more seriously” than former President Barack Obama, but there is not any sign of when it would decide what to do with Gulen.
The photo exhibition will run for about two weeks.