Ankara slams Netherlands for asylum of FETÖ members

Ankara slams Netherlands for asylum of FETÖ members

ANKARA-Anadolu Agency
Ankara slams Netherlands for asylum of FETÖ members

Turkey on Dec. 18 criticized a decision by the Netherlands to approve asylum applications and residence permits for suspects with alleged links to the FETÖ, the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt in Turkey.

"It is unacceptable that the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service responded positively to the asylum applications of FETÖ members and granted them residence permits on the basis that personal information of the FETÖ-affiliated individuals might have been obtained by the Turkish authorities," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

Aksoy stressed that the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees stipulated that individuals who are wanted for terror crimes could not be granted refugee status.

"The Convention aims to prevent the abuse of the refugee status by terrorists," he added.

Aksoy went on to say that Turkey's efforts and expectations for the extradition of FETÖ members continued.

"Our expectation and efforts towards the extradition of FETÖ members who are behind the July 15 treacherous coup attempt, claiming the lives of 251 innocent citizens and injuring thousands, will continue," Aksoy said.

"It should not be forgotten that this terrorist organization is a threat not only to Turkey, but also to every country where it operates, and that international cooperation is of great importance in the fight against terrorism," he concluded.

FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt on July 15, 2016, which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.