Turkey on Sunday said the recently revealed U.S. terrorism report which refrained from naming the YPG shows the latter’s effort to cover up its cooperation with the terror group.
“Not mentioning the YPG and instead calling it PKK’s offshoot in Syria is an effort by the U.S. authorities — who do not hide their cooperation with the terror group — to cover up their attitude which does not abide by the law,” Hami Aksoy, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said in a written statement on the annual Country Report on Terrorism issued by the U.S. State Department on Friday.
The report said that in 2018 Ankara “continued its efforts to defeat terrorist organizations both inside and outside its borders,” including by taking measures against the PKK and Daesh/ISIS.
Aksoy said the report further noted that Turkey has been an “active contributor” of international anti-terror organizations, including the Global Counter-terrorism Forum and the U.S.-led anti-Daesh coalition.
He said the PKK, which is listed as a foreign terror group by the U.S., is responsible for the deaths of over 1,200 civilians, police officers, and soldiers in Turkey in the 2015-2018 period.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of PKK.
Touching on the U.S. report’s part on the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), Aksoy said: “Presenting the ringleader of FETO, another terror group targeting Turkey, as a self-exiled cleric means ignoring and supporting the July 15 heinous coup attempt.
“It is also a manifestation of the effort to ignore the fact that this terrorist has found a safe haven on the U.S. land.”
He warned that FETO terror group, which claimed 251 lives and injured thousands during the 2016 defeated coup attempt, does not pose a threat only for Turkey but for all the countries where it is present.
Aksoy also reiterated the importance of international cooperation in fight against terrorism.
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 also 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.