Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Belgium is the most important center for supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) terrorists that orchestrated and contributed to the July 15 coup bid that targeted the democratically-elected government of Turkey, according to Yeni Şafak.
“German officials’ findings prove that an organization in Germany was collecting money for the PKK terrorists,” he said.
Belgian PM responds to Erdogan’s remarks
According to Ibrahim Kalin, the Turkish presidential spokesman, Belgian media reported that Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel argued that President Erdogan’s statements were “absurd, unfounded and defamatory” and warned the Turkish government not to interfere with Belgium’s internal affairs, reported Anadolu Agency.
Kalin added, “It is not possible to understand the reaction of the Belgian government, which has been following an unprincipled attitude towards the fight against terrorism, in the face of the rightful criticism of our president.”
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu also said, “The fact that the leaders of EU countries, who comment on other countries every day — regarding it as a right for them — are interpreting [Erdogan’s remarks] as an intervention in their own country … constitutes an example of the double-standard politics of the EU countries ….
“We evaluate Michel’s remarks in this perspective,” Muftuoglu told, according to Anadolu Agency.
İbrahim Kalın criticized the Belgian government for “denying the facts” and urged the country to take a firm stand against terrorism, according to Yeni Şafak.
“The Belgian government must adopt a sincere, decisive, and principled attitude towards the fight against terrorism and take steps to rectify crucial mistakes without delay rather than denying the clear facts,” Kalın said.
Kalın also said the Belgian authorities’ policy on the PKK was revealed clearly when they allowed a PKK tent during the Turkey-EU summit this March and in August, when they allowed a march by PKK supporters marking the anniversary of its first terror attack in 1984. Kalın also mentioned how Belgium protected Fehriye Erdal, who is wanted by Turkish justice in the assassination of Özdemir Sabancı, and a number of DHKP-C terrorists in its territories and allowed the activities of FETÖ, the terror group accused of orchestrating Turkey’s July 15 coup plot.