QA-50, 17 December 2021, Statement of the Spokesperson of the MFA, Ambassador Tanju Bilgiç in Response to a Question Regarding the US State Department’s Country Report on Terrorism for 2020

Republic Of Türkiye Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 17.12.2021

In the US State Department’s Country Report on Terrorism for 2020, it is seen that Türkiye’s fight against terrorist organizations such as PKK, DHKP-C and DEASH and its active contributions to international counter-terrorism efforts were not evaluated in a fair manner. The report reflects an incomplete and biased approach in this regard.

Türkiye maintains its fight against terrorism on the basis of the rule of law and without making any distinction among terrorist organizations, while ensuring the balance between security and rights and freedoms prudently. Therefore, the allegations in the report indicating that rights and freedoms were restricted disproportionately and in an unjustified manner are baseless and unacceptable.

In the Syria section of the report, stating that PKK-affiliated groups are our country's primary concern in the fight against terrorism in Syria is an admission that the SDF/PYD/YPG is the same as the PKK, even if these groups are not mentioned by name. Our US counterparts are also well aware that the so-called "SDF" which receives US support in the guise of fighting DEASH, is under the guidance of the PKK. For this reason, it is unacceptable that the report does not mention the terrorist attacks by PKK-affiliated groups targeting civilians, including hospitals, in Syria, resulting in the deaths of more than 120 innocent people in the last year. On the other hand, the release of FTFs by the said organization in return for bribery, as also stated in the international press, was not mentioned in the section that refers to the so-called "SDF's” keeping FTFs under surveillance in Syria. We consider this as an effort to cover up the true intentions of the organization.

In the report, it is observed that Türkiye's just and legitimate fight against the heinous FETO terrorist organization is assessed with prejudice, without taking into account the bloody coup attempt and organized crime activities of this sneaky organization. It has been established with concrete evidence and judicial decisions that FETO is a ruthless terrorist organization and a criminal network. FETO is a threat not only to our country, but also to the security and stability of every country in which it operates. Our expectation from the US is to put an end to the presence and activities of FETO in the country, not to provide a haven for FETO members, including the FETO ringleader, and to cooperate concretely with Türkiye in this field without further delay.

Türkiye maintains its expectation of a consistent, determined and effective stance from the US and its allies in the fight against terrorism. Attitudes and rhetoric beyond this are incompatible with the efforts aimed at enhancing international cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the spirit of alliance relationship.

Atatürk

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