Türkiye is fighting terrorist propaganda and accusations against the country, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Wednesday, adding that Türkiye is “a country that suffers a lot from terrorism.”
Çavuşoğlu made the comments during a session at the 13th Ambassadors Conference in which Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ addressed the diplomats.
“We have been keeping the delicate balance between justice and security for years. These issues constitute an important part of our mission abroad. We are fighting the propaganda and accusations of both the PKK and FETÖ (Gülenist Terror Group) and other terrorist organizations against our country,” he said.
Çavuşoğlu underlined that “modern diplomacy is multi-layered, with stakeholders and actors” and noted that the different perspectives of the institutions with which they cooperate enrich their views.
He emphasized that the Justice Ministry is one of these institutions, adding that concepts such as “the rule of law, democracy and human rights” are among the basic principles of foreign policy.
Stating that they have implemented comprehensive reforms over the last 20 years, Çavuşoğlu stated that the “Human Rights Action Plan” and the steps taken in this context are a concrete indicator of their determination on this issue.
While outlining the cooperation with the Justice Ministry, Çavuşoğlu stated that an important part of the agreements reached with Sweden and Finland involve judicial matters.
Expressing that they sought the opinions of the Justice Ministry on sensitive foreign policy issues, Çavuşoğlu said: “The views of the Justice Ministry shed light on us.”
“It is also very important to work on the increasing discriminatory and racist practices against our citizens in Europe. We work with the Ministry of Justice in our overseas organization. Currently, there are representatives and consultants of the Ministry of Justice in our 19 missions.”
The top diplomat noted that they work very closely with organizations such as the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the United Nations.
Türkiye expects European Council and EU institutions to have a “fair and impartial” approach to the country as part of legal cooperation, the justice minister said for his part.
Türkiye has the highest compliance rate with ECtHR decisions compared to other countries, Bekir Bozdağ told the 13th Ambassadors Conference in Ankara.
“The total compliance rate of the countries that have committed to comply with the ECtHR decisions is 80.14%, while Türkiye has a rate of 87.90%.
“We have complied and implemented the decisions of the ECtHR,” Bozdağ added.
On Türkiye’s extradition requests from EU countries and the U.S., Bozdağ said EU states and the U.S. protect the terrorists and terrorist leaders and that they do not extradite the terrorists.
“From 2012 to 2022, Türkiye requested 1998 legal cooperation within the scope of terrorist crimes from foreign countries.
“So far, 735 of them have been rejected, 18 of them have been accepted, and the others have no response yet,” he said, adding that Türkiye has made 893 requests from EU states and 500 of them were rejected, with only four accepted.
“The remaining (requests) are concluded due to death or due to conclusion of the case in Turkish courts.”
He also said Türkiye re-submitted at least 236 extradition requests to the U.S. from 2012 to 2022 and that 20 of them have been rejected while none has been accepted yet.
Referring to legal cooperation on extradition requests of terrorists or terrorist crimes, he said that “unfortunately, Europe remains blind-deaf to Türkiye’s demands, and they act very protectively,” noting that Europe also “protects” such terrorists and their terrorist propaganda against his country.
On the extradition of Fetullah Gülen, the terrorist FETÖ ringleader, who lives in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, Bozdağ emphasized that terrorist Gülen’s file “presented to the U.S. is the most well-equipped in terms of sufficient evidence.”
Minister Bozdağ told his counterparts that “if there is no extradition (decision) from this file, there will be no extradition from any other.”