By Serife Cetin
BRUSSELS (AA) – The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) is a “different but dangerous ” terror group which the world was not familiar with, Turkish Ambassador to Brussels Zeki Levent Gumrukcu said.
“In the first place, all European countries, including Belgium, had a difficulty in understanding the real character of FETO, as to what it is and how it is actually a different but dangerous terrorist organization, ” Gumrukcu told Anadolu Agency.
The 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.
“This is the organization which has masked itself and has been penetrating smoothly into different sections of the society for years, ” the ambassador said, adding: “But its goal is to subvert the democratic order and take control of government. ”
Highlighting difficulty in understanding the organization, Gumrukcu said: “I think it is understood that FETO is not an innocent educational or charity organization.”
Speaking about Turkey’s counter-terrorism operations, he said: “Turkey has been fighting four to five different terrorist organizations simultaneously including the PKK, FETO, Daesh, and far-left DHKP-C. ”
About Turkey-Belgium relations, Gumrukcu said: “Two strategic partners in the same alliance [NATO] have fought together against the common threat for many years. ”
The DHKP-C is responsible for a number of terror attacks in Turkey, including a 2013 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara that left a Turkish security guard dead and a journalist injured.
The far-left group is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union.
The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years and has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people.
More than 1,200 people, including security force personnel and civilians, have lost their lives since the PKK resumed its decades-old acts of terror in July 2015.