Turkey absent from Europe meeting over reservations

By Zuhal Demirci

ANKARA (AA) – Ankara did not officially attend a meeting by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the Polish capital Warsaw, according to Turkish diplomatic sources.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, said Turkey supported the attendance of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, but had some reservations.

"The participation of entities that are linked to terrorist organizations under the garb of an NGO — which act against our country's territorial integrity and unity, and the lives of our citizens — is never acceptable for our country," the sources said.

Turkey expects the OSCE to adhere to the 16th article of 1992 Helsinki Summit, which refuses provisions to persons or organizations which resort to the use of violence or publicly condone terrorism or the use of violence.

Ankara also expects a mechanism under the OSCE to be established in this regard.

Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yildiz condemned the attendance of entities linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) at the OSCE meeting in 2017.

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

The Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, which is Europe's largest annual human rights and democracy conference, kicked off on Sept. 10 and will continue till Sept. 21.

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