Turkey's EU minister slams UK report on coup attempt

Turkey's EU minister slams UK report on coup attempt

Turkeys EU minister slams UK report on coup attempt

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Turkey's EU minister on Mach 25 criticized a U.K. parliamentary committee report, saying some of its conclusions on the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey were partial.

"When such reports are being prepared, they either do not ask our opinions, or they put them aside and write a one-sided report," Ömer Çelik told reporters after speaking at a panel on the sidelines of Turkish-British Tatlıdil Forum in the southern province of Antalya.

Çelik said that the Foreign Affairs Committee, which released the report early on March 25, could have come together with Turkish parliamentarians, both from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and opposition parties, and drawn up a "joint report."

"This way, you could clearly establish the issues you agree and disagree on," he said.

As for the remarks of one of the report signatories calling for more evidence, Çelik said he had a hard time understanding the question "Is there enough evidence?"

Noting that a lot of coup-plotters testified that they were members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization, which Ankara blames for orchestrating the attempted takeover, and admitted that they attempted the coup on behalf of Fethullah Gülen, the U.S.-based Islamic preacher, Çelik said a large number of judges also admitted that they followed Gülen's orders in major cases they oversaw.

"I asked [the signatory] what evidence they wanted. More evidence, more talk... We are ready for this. There is nothing we are covering up," he said.

In addition to the coup attempt, Turkey's government also accuses the FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

Since the coup attempt, operations have been ongoing in the military, police and judiciary, as well as in state institutions across the country, to arrest suspects with alleged links to FETÖ.

The Tatlıdil Forum, established in 2011, brings together leading figures from the fields of academia, business, the media and politics to strengthen relations between Turkey and the U.K.