Turkey's Erdogan: We waged real struggle against FETO

Mon 15 Oct 2018 12:11 GMT | 16:11 Local Time

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey ‘paid the price’ for being late in facing the threat of FETO, the group behind defeated 2016 coup.

Turkey mounted the greatest struggle against the terror group FETO under its current leadership, said the Turkish president on Monday, according to Anadolu Agency.

“The real struggle against FETO was waged only in our term,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, referring to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind a defeated coup in 2016. 

“But let me tell you, we were late too. Unfortunately, we paid the price for being late,” Erdogan added, speaking to a group of muftis at the Presidential Complex in the capital Ankara. 

Citing the December 2013 plot against government ministers and leading businesspeople, Erdogan said that if Turkey hadn't fought FETO since that plot, despite obstruction by the main opposition, the 2016 coup attempt would have turned out differently. 

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 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.

Dec. 17-25, 2013 saw a graft probe and the detention of prominent figures in a FETO plot to overthrow Turkey’s elected government.

“We should be able to make self-criticism with open heart about July 15 betrayal and FETO,” Erdogan said. 

He noted the FETO had been infiltrating Turkish state structure for 40 years. 

“The fact that the threats posed by this organization had not been noticed for many years is a matter that we should all consider sensitively,” he added.

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