President Erdoğan: Greece, US, some EU members protect terrorists - M5 Dergi
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President Erdoğan: Greece, US, some EU members protect terrorists

Abone Ol 

Greece, the United States and some EU members protect terrorists, including the Gülenist Terrorist Group (FETÖ) members, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in remarks published

“Who protects them now? Mainly Greece. They run away to Greece, they run away to Europe. They always fled there. They live in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, England and America.

“And America is hiding this man (FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen). Who is hiding? (U.S. President Joe) Biden is hiding. They gave them a huge mansion in Pennsylvania, where this man lives. If you ask me where is the center of terrorists, that’s what I’m telling you right now,” Erdoğan told Turkish press members after his visit to Uzbekistan, where he attended the ninth summit of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS).

FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup in Türkiye on July 15, 2016, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 wounded. FETO was also behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

An unknown number of Gülenists, mostly high-ranking figures, fled Türkiye when the coup attempt was thwarted. A large number of Gülenists had already left the country prior to the coup attempt after Turkish prosecutors launched investigations into other crimes of the terrorist group. Despite Türkiye’s extradition requests and bilateral legal agreements, many FETÖ members still freely enjoy their lives in different countries around the world. In the aftermath of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, Türkiye has sped up extradition processes for members of FETÖ abroad.

The U.S., where FETÖ’s fugitive head Gülen resides, is the target of most extradition requests. Türkiye has sent several extradition requests for Gülen to Washington so far, but unfortunately, has seen little progress in his extradition. Gülen, who arrived in the U.S. in 1999, currently lives in a luxurious retreat in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, in self-imposed exile. He never leaves the well-guarded compound but often gives interviews with foreign media. Ankara formally requested Gülen’s extradition on July 19, 2016, and has been pressing the U.S. ever since, sending hundreds of folders full of evidence implicating Gülen and FETÖ in the coup attempt. The issue has been raised in bilateral meetings between Turkish and American officials in phone calls, letters and other exchanges.

Asked about Greece’s situation after the recent defense talks between Türkiye and the United States, Erdoğan said: “Of course, at the moment, Greece is seriously disturbed by these latest steps.”

Earlier this week, the Türkiye-U.S. High-Level Defense Group meeting was held in the Turkish capital Ankara, where regional and global defense and security issues were discussed.

“Of course, we are disturbed by the attitudes of the West, and especially the U.S., in Greece. Alexandroupolis is one of them. Apart from this, there are some disturbances that Greece inflicts on us in the fight against terrorism. Especially, this Lavrion Camp issue is not something that we can stomach,” Erdoğan said.

Greece has long been accused of being a favorite hideout for terrorists from the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C) and PKK. Those fleeing Türkiye have taken shelter in refugee camps in Lavrion near Athens under the guise of being asylum-seekers, especially in the 1980s. Despite the closure of Lavrion in 2013 amid pressure from Türkiye, Greece continues to be the primary destination for DHKP-C terrorists.

Footage from the camp shows that it has turned into a base for PKK terrorists. The camp scene resembles a terrorist base, with terrorist symbols and pictures of its imprisoned ringleader Abdullah Öcalan adorning its walls.

The president has repeatedly warned Greece also about the militarization of the islands, in violation of longstanding international treaties, saying: “We may come suddenly one night,” without giving a timeframe.

Türkiye and Greece are at odds over a number of issues, including competing claims over jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean, overlapping claims over their continental shelves, maritime boundaries, airspace, energy, the ethnically split island of Cyprus, the status of the islands in the Aegean Sea and migrants.

Türkiye, a NATO member for over 70 years, has complained of repeated provocative actions and rhetoric by Greece in the region in recent months, including arming islands near Turkish shores that are demilitarized under treaties, saying that such moves frustrate its good faith efforts for peace. Ankara accuses Athens of illegally militarizing Greek islands in the East Aegean and questions Greece’s sovereignty over them. There is also a dispute over the exploitation of mineral resources in the Aegean.

Turkish military drones recently recorded the deployment of Greek armored vehicles on the islands of Lesbos and Samos, which Ankara maintains is in violation of international law. Following the incident, Ankara lodged a protest with the United States and Greece over the unlawful deployment of armored vehicles on Aegean islands with nonmilitary status.

Türkiye summoned the Greek ambassador and called for an end to violations on Aegean islands and restoring their nonmilitary status, according to the Foreign Ministry. In the note, the ministry stated that the deployment was another violation of Greece’s obligations under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Treaty of Paris. These islands were required to be demilitarized under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Treaty of Paris, so any troops or weapons on the islands are strictly forbidden.

Also, Türkiye has ramped up the criticism of its NATO ally United States for abandoning a balanced policy and escalating tensions on the issues of Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean, reiterating that it will protect its rights and interests against the Greek side.

Efforts to introduce Turkish Cyprus to world

About the admission of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to the Organization of Turkic States as an observer member, Erdoğan said: “We showed that the Turkish Cypriots, who are an integral part of the Turkic world, are not alone.”

Erdoğan added that it would be wrong to consider this as a “recognition.”

“It means that the speech we made at the United Nations General Assembly gave a voice. … We need to create a spiral about introducing Northern Cyprus to the world as a state,” he added.

Erdoğan said the TRNC case is not as easy as the recognition of Kosovo, adding: “But we will do our best. We’re going to get to work. I believe that we will have the opportunity to introduce Northern Cyprus to the world.”

Cyprus has been mired in a decadeslong dispute between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the U.N. 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 United Kingdom.

The Greek Cypriot administration entered the European Union in 2004, the same year Greek Cypriots thwarted the U.N. Annan Plan to end the longstanding dispute.

Today, the Turkish side supports a solution based on the equal sovereignty of the two states on the island. On the other hand, the Greek side wants a federal solution based on the hegemony of the Greeks.

Abone Ol 

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