Turkey’s top soldier objects to term ‘Islamic terror’
The term “Islamic terror” is unacceptable and should not be used by political and military leaders, Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar has said during a visit to the U.S.
Speaking at the Counter-Violent Extremist Organization Conference in Washington attended by the army chiefs of more than 70 countries, as well as NATO and the EU representatives, Akar said it is “inappropriate” to mention the religion of Islam alongside terrorist organizations.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Oct. 26 that one of the topics discussed in the conference held at the Fort Belvoir military air base in Virginia was preventing the association of Islam with terror and the necessity of joint efforts to this end.
During his speech, Akar also spoke about Turkey’s contributions to regional security and also addressed Ankara’s struggle against the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, widely believed to have been behind the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
The army chief said FETÖ “attempted to endanger Turkey’s national security” and urged other countries to act jointly with the country and support the fight against the group, just as they do against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, meanwhile, gave a press briefing after the conference, during which he said that “one of the hardest challenges in defeating ISIL is eliminating the jihadist group’s narrative.”
Saying that noteworthy and prominent Islamic voices are very important in invalidating ISIL’s narrative, Dunford said it is “important for the Islamic world to stand against ISIL propaganda.”