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July 16, 2019

Pakistan promises support to Turkey against FETO challenges


July 16, 2019

Islamabad : As Turkey marked the third anniversary of the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt, which claimed 251 lives and left 2,200 wounded, Pakistani Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood on Monday said Islamabad would continue providing all possible support to Ankara and Turkish people for meeting challenges posed by terror outfit FETO, an acronym for Fetullah Terrorist Organisation.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen had orchestrated the defeated coup, which martyred 251 people and injured around 2,200.

“We are proud of the fact that Pakistani government and people stood by our brothers and sisters on July 15, 2016, and Pakistan was one of the first countries to condemn the coup attempt and express unwavering solidarity with the Turkish government. Both houses of Pakistani parliament passed unanimous resolutions condemning the coup bid and showing solidarity with the Turkish people. Pakistan will continue to provide all possible support to Turkish government and Turkish people to overcome all challenges, including those posed by FETO,” the foreign secretary told a Democracy and National Unity Day function at the Turkish embassy here.

The event meant to commemorate the lives of Turkish people, who were martyred during the July 15, 2016, coup bid, was attended by foreign diplomats, Turkish people living in Pakistan, government officials, and journalists.

The foreign secretary said three years ago, brave Turkish citizens from all walks of life and across the political spectrum wrote an illustrious chapter of courage by thwarting a deadly coup.

“It all reminds us of the triumph of human courage and perseverance against all forms showed by the brave Turkish people for unity, peace and prosperity of their homeland,” he said.

Sohail Mahmood said Pakistan reiterated its unwavering support to the brotherly government and people of Turkey.

“It symbolises the spirit, which motivated our forefathers to feel the pain of Turkish nation as their own when time Turkish nation fought for its independence,” he said.

The foreign secretary said the warmth with which the Turkish nation responded to Pakistan’s goodwill gestures and sentiments had no parallel in the history of inter-state relations.

“The ever-growing ties between the two countries ever since the independence of Pakistan remain a testimony to the fact that our countries have inherited the spirit of our forefathers. Our ties are based on mutual trust and understanding. We are happy to see Turkey make progress by leaps and bounds. Even on humanitarian front, we and Turkey are cooperating with each other closely,” he said.

Sohail Mahmood said both Pakistan and Turkey had suffered a lot at the hands of terrorism.

“Due to the sacrifices of our security forces and people, both countries have successfully overcome this issue. We both will continue to stand by each other to secure better tomorrow for our peoples,” he said.

Turkish ambassador to Pakistan Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul paid homage to martyrs, who sacrificed their lives on July 15, 2016, to defend democracy.

He said the failed coup bid was the deadliest terrorist attack against Turkey.

“We have never before witnessed such savagery and treachery in our history as the one exhibited by the perpetrators of this coup attempt: our parliament building, presidential complex, the building of the National Intelligence Organisation, buildings of the Turkish National Police, the Headquarters of the Police Special Operations Department located in Ankara were bombed by rogue pilots on July 15,” he said.

The ambassador added that tanks were driven to the streets to mow down innocent civilians, while helicopters and jets dropped bombs from the air and shot everyone in sight.

He said the July 15 coup attempt revealed the grave threat posed by the FETO terrorist organization against Turkish state.

“With the fight against FETO structures abroad being among the top priorities of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the main objective of our efforts is to demonstrate and prove the fact that the terror outfit also poses a threat to the security of other countries, where it continues to be active. There are evidence showing that FETO does not hesitate to violate laws by acting almost like an secretive intelligence service and points out to the fact that it aims to establish political and economic zones of influence that permits the creation of structures similar to those in Turkey in other countries that it has spread to since 1990s,” he said.

The ambassador reiterated demand for the extradition of the main FETO ‘ringleaders’ from the countries they’re based.

While praising Pakistani governments and institutions for supporting Turkish government against the failed coup and helping it take over the schools operated by FETO in the country, he said the international community gradually understood that FETO was not a social movement that engaged with education and charity, contrary to the way it tried to portray itself, but rather a dark and insidious organization with political and economic ambitions.

“A clear awareness regarding the characteristics of the organisation has developed among public opinions abroad,” he said.

The ambassador said Turkey's efforts for fully eliminating the structures of FETO abroad constituted a long-term fight and that the Turkish government would continue them resolutely.

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