Turkey slams Netherlands for asylum of FETO members

Alaturka Politika Haberleri

By Erdogan Cagatay Zontur

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey on Wednesday criticized a decision by the Netherlands to approve asylum applications and residence permits for suspects with alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.

"It is unacceptable that the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service responded positively to the asylum applications of FETO members and granted them residence permits on the basis that personal information of the FETO-affiliated individuals might have been obtained by the Turkish authorities," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

Aksoy stressed that the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees stipulated that individuals who are wanted for terror crimes could not be granted refugee status.

"The Convention aims to prevent the abuse of the refugee status by terrorists," he added.

Aksoy went on to say that Turkey's efforts and expectations for the extradition of FETO members continued.

"Our expectation and efforts towards the extradition of FETO members who are behind the July 15 treacherous coup attempt, claiming the lives of 251 innocent citizens and injuring thousands, will continue," Aksoy said.

"It should not be forgotten that this terrorist organization is a threat not only to Turkey, but also to every country where it operates, and that international cooperation is of great importance in the fight against terrorism," he concluded.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup on 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.