At conference with US counterpart, Hulusi Akar calls efforts to link the Muslim faith with terrorism ‘unacceptable’

Trying to link the Muslim faith to terrorist groups is out of bounds, said Turkey’s military chief, describing the phrase “Islamic terrorism” as “unacceptable”.

Gen. Hulusi Akar, chief of the Turkish General Staff, told a conference in the U.S. late Wednesday of Turkey’s contributions to regional security and the need for cooperation against these unacceptable characterizations.

Akar also spoke about Ankara’s fight against the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind last year’s defeated coup in Turkey, and called for collaborative efforts against FETO as well as the Daesh terrorist organization.

The two-day “Counter Violent Extremism Conference” in Virginia, hosted by U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, saw more than 70 military leaders discuss global counter-terrorism efforts, current threats, and alliances.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Turkey has long complained about the U.S. failure to extradite Gulen to Turkey despite repeated requests.

Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.