Ankara determined to continue fight to eliminate PKK, Fetullah Terrorist Organization, in particular, says National Security Council
Türkiye urges its NATO allies to give their support in its fight against terrorist organizations, including the PKK and Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), until they are completely eliminated, the country’s National Security Council said on Thursday.
In a statement released after the three-hour session, which convened in the capital Ankara under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the council said Türkiye “has fully and sincerely” fulfilled its obligations in the alliance and that it expects the same from other members.
Underscoring Ankara’s determination to keep fighting FETO until it was completely eliminated, the statement said Türkiye is ready to fight all manners of danger to its “national unity and survival,” including the PKK terrorist organization and its offshoots, as well as FETO, both at home and abroad.
In its over 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, and EU — has been responsible for the deaths of at least 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.
The statement referred to a NATO summit in the Spanish capital of Madrid last month to discuss the formal application of Sweden and Finland to join the transatlantic alliance, a decision spurred by Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Türkiye had voiced objections to the membership bids, criticizing the countries for tolerating and even supporting terror groups.
A trilateral agreement signed among the countries in June stipulates that Finland and Sweden will not provide support to the YPG, the PKK’s Syrian offshoot, nor to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye, and said Ankara extends full support to Finland and Sweden against threats to their national security.
FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup, which left 252 people dead and 2,734 injured.
Ankara also 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.
Additionally, the council touched on the issues between Türkiye and Greece.
“Greece’s continued territorial waters, airspace violations and other provocative actions are unacceptable,” it stressed.
“The Greek administration has also been called upon to once again put an end to activities that endanger lives of irregular migrants, and violate human rights and humanitarian law,” the statement noted.
Greece is the main route into the EU for asylum seekers arriving via Türkiye.
Türkiye has been a key transit point for irregular migrants who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution in their countries.
Ankara and international human rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece’s illegal practice of pushing back asylum seekers, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable people, including women and children.
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
The council also expressed “strong support” for the vision of a Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) “for a two-state solution on the basis of sovereign equality and equal international status.”
Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.
Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.
In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece’s annexation led to Türkiye’s military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. As a result, the TRNC was founded in 1983.
It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Türkiye, Greece and the UK.
The Greek Cypriot administration joined the EU in 2004, the same year Greek Cypriots thwarted the UN’s Annan plan to end the longstanding dispute.
Russia-Ukraine, global crises
Pointing to Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine, Ankara called for “a comprehensive cease-fire to be declared,” before the war “leads to more casualties and destruction.”
Türkiye reiterated its efforts “to resolve the issue that is turning into a global food crisis with the establishment of a lasting will.”
“The expanding political and social effects of the global economic crisis, which was deepened by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent conflicts throughout the world, were evaluated in all dimensions, and the measures to be taken to strengthen our country in all areas against possible threats that may arise in the future were reviewed,” the council added.
Nearly 5,100 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the beginning of the war on Feb. 24, according to UN figures. Over 15 million people have also been forced to flee their homes, including more than 9.5 million that have fled to other countries.
Tons of Ukrainian grain is stuck due to the Russia-Ukraine war that is in its fifth month, causing global shortages and price hikes. Russia, which is accused of using food as a weapon, says Western sanctions are to blame for the food shortages.