Turkey warns Interpol over FETÖ members
Turkey has warned Interpol that its decision not to issue a red notice for FETÖ members would damage the global anti-terror fight as well as the founding purpose of the international police organization.
“Removal of some terrorists, including so-called officials of the PYD/YPG, an offshoot of the PKK terror organization in Syria, from the red notice and not issuing a red notice for some FETÖ terrorists would give a big damage on fight against terror at the global level as well as the founding purpose of the Interpol,” said Turkey’s top security body at a bimonthly meeting late July 30.
The National Security Council (MGK) held a six-hour meeting under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and with the participation of top civilian and military officials during which all security and foreign issues were largely deliberated.
Turkey has long been pushing Interpol and other countries to cooperate in its fight against FETÖ members who fled the country before or after the July 2016 failed coup. Many FETÖ members enjoy liberty and continue their anti-Turkey propaganda in Western countries despite Ankara’s pressure on the said countries.
Western countries do not regard FETÖ as a terror organization and argue that the evidence provided by Turkey on the members of the organization are far from convincing.
Peace corridor, instead of safe zone
At the MGK, Turkey vowed to set up what it calls a “peace corridor” along the eastern part of the Turkish-Syrian border after wiping out all terror organizations amid talks with the United States for establishing a safe zone.
“Our determination for exerting efforts for setting up a peace corridor with all its strength and clearing the region of all terror elements in the frame of securing our border and because of the increased threats against our country due to power vacuum along our Syrian border,” read the communiqué.
The reference to the peace corridor has been interpreted as an important change in the Turkish government’s rhetoric with regard to its negotiations with the United States on how to secure its Syrian border. In March, the MGK referred to joint efforts with the United States for a safe zone, but as talks with Washington have not yet yielded results, this month’s security meeting deliberately underlined Turkey’s unilateral objective of creating a peace corridor in the said area.
The MGK’s touch on a peace corridor has come after Defense Minister Hulusi Akar notified U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on July 29 that Turkey will act unilaterally to secure its borders if the United States fails to deliver its promises on both setting up a safe zone and pushing the YPG troops to withdraw from the Manbij province of Syria.
The MGK also repeated Ankara’s expectations from the United States and other Western countries to stop lending political and military support to the YPG whose links with the PKK is well known by all parties. The PKK is listed as a terror organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. Turkey considers the YPG as a terror organization due to its links with the PKK.
Operations in Northern Iraq will endure
The MGK communiqué also cited ongoing military operations by the Turkish army in northern Iraq against the PKK presence.
“Counterterror operations, Claw and Claw 2, in northern Iraq will continue until terrorists are wiped out in the region,” read the statement. It condemned the killing of a Turkish diplomat in Erbil by the terrorists and vowed that the probe will continue until all the details of the murder and its perpetrators are figured out.
The MGK also underlined that Turkey will continue its actions in the eastern Mediterranean in order to protect its rights and interests along with that of the Turkish Cypriots state.