Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has strongly criticized European countries for failing to demonstrate strong solidarity with Turkey in the wake of a foiled coup attempt by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), reported Anadolu Agency.
“We have just seen spurious statements, but not any genuine support. Our people are questioning this: If we will not be in solidarity with each other in difficult times, then why do we need partners?” Cavusoglu said, in an exclusive interview with German daily Bild published on Monday, according to Anadolu Agency.
Cavusoglu expressed regret that since the July 15 coup attempt, which has been the deadliest attack against Turkish democracy in modern history, there has not been a single solidarity visit to the country by European leaders or foreign ministers.
“You may like or dislike the government, you may be supporting or not supporting President Erdogan, it does not matter. One should have more clearly condemned this coup attempt, there should have been high-level visits here,” he said.
The July 15 coup attempt was organized by followers of U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen in the military and FETO, according to testimonies given by the suspects. The defeated coup left 240 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
While many European capitals condemned the coup attempt, their focus quickly shifted to concerns over investigations into the incidents, as large number of FETO suspects were arrested or suspended in state institutions.
“Europeans do not understand how dangerous FETO is which is clearly behind this coup,” Cavusoglu said, emphasizing that thousands of members of this organization have infiltrated state institutions in the last 40 years, employing many illegal tactics.
So far, more than 81,000 people were suspended from their duties over suspected links to FETO.
Cavusoglu defended measures taken by Turkey in the aftermath of the coup attempt and underlined that these were necessary to protect the democratic order.
“We are taking these measures to prevent any new coup attempt. The threat is not over, “ he said.
Cavusoglu noted that suspending Gulenists from state institutions was similar to what happened during the unification of East and West Germany in the 1990s.
“After the unification of East and West Germany more than 150 thousand [people] were dismissed from their jobs due to the suspicion that they remained loyal to the Soviet Union,” he said.