Türkiye expects the US to act in cooperation with it in the fight against terrorist groups such as the PKK/YPG and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.
“We expect our American friends to act in cooperation in our fight against the PKK, YPG and FETO in a manner befitting the spirit of alliance,” Erdogan said at a dinner event organized by the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC) at Rockefeller Center in New York City.
Erdogan said Turkish authorities have been “meticulously” working with their US counterparts to bring FETO leader Fethullah Gulen and the group’s members to Turkish justice.
The president stressed that Türkiye will continue to fight against the FETO, PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorist groups, adding: “We will remove the dark shadow of terror from our region.”
FETO orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 in Türkiye, in which 252 people were killed and 2,734 injured.
Ankara 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.
– Resolving issues between Türkiye, US
The president said he hoped to resolve the issues between Türkiye and the US “on the basis of common interests” while developing cooperation with Washington.
Erdogan said there is no issue between the US and Türkiye that can’t be resolved as two strong partners and allies for 70 years, adding that both nations are together in NATO.
“Be it funding, be it land forces, Türkiye is one of the top five most important partners that provide this support” in NATO, said the Turkish president. “Therefore, Türkiye’s position should be well understood, well-known, and decisions and steps should be taken accordingly.”
Erdogan also said that Türkiye and the US have similar stands on many regional and global issues despite differences on issues about Ankara’s national security, adding that he and US President Joe Biden have agreed to strengthen the friendship and cooperation between their nations.
Turning to Russia’s war in Ukraine, Erdogan said Türkiye will continue efforts to end the war through diplomacy and eliminate its regional and global impacts.
“The Istanbul Agreement, which was achieved as a result of our efforts with the UN to export Ukrainian grain in the Black Sea, is the most concrete example of these efforts,” said the Turkish president.
“We want to translate the positive climate we have achieved here into a cease-fire and then lasting peace,” he added.
Türkiye, the UN, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul on July 22 to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began.
– Hatred against Muslims
The president noted that there has been an increase in hate speech, Islamophobia and prejudices against Muslims around the world, saying the Turkish-American community and Muslim Americans are sometimes subjected to such attacks.
Erdogan also urged the US to take “strong” precautions against the distorted mentality that likens Islam to terrorism and hatred against Muslims.