Turkish president says FETO members to get befitting response
By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Fetullah Terrorist Organization’s (FETO) U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen will be brought to Turkey “sooner or later”.
Speaking to lawmakers at the parliamentary group of his Justice and Development (AK) Party in the capital Ankara, Erdogan reiterated that a total of 80 FETO members abroad have been brought back to Turkey so far.
“The situation of the head of these terrorists, who feels safe in Pennsylvania, will not be different. Sooner or later we will get to him,” said Erdogan.
Erdogan said FETO members “who betrayed this country, will get a befitting response”.
FETO orchestrated the defeated July 2016 coup in Turkey which left 250 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.
Erdogan also said 4,205 terrorists have been neutralized so far as part of Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s Afrin region.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorist groups from Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats from the region.
On March 18, Turkish-backed troops liberated Afrin town center, which had been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since 2012.
Also, 341 PKK terrorists were neutralized in northern Iraq and 214 others in Turkey, the president added.
Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the death of some 40,000 people, including those of women and children.
The PYD/YPG are Syrian branches of the terrorist PKK and the focus of Turkey’s successful counter-terrorism Operation Olive Branch in Afrin.