Turkey on Saturday said it is “hypocritical” to call head of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) — a group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey — a “Muslim cleric and political figure” in a report released by the U.S. State Department.
“This description of the head of the terrorist organization that massacred our 251 citizens means ignoring or supporting the treacherous July 15 coup attempt,” Hami Aksoy, the spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry, said in a statement.
The U.S. State Department had released the International Religious Freedom Report for 2018 on Friday.
“It is a hypocritical […] approach that those who claim that they are the defenders of democracy in the world call those who attempted a blow to democracy in an allied country as innocent clergy,” it added.
The FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkey 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.