Turkish lawmakers blast US letter on Turkey

Turkish lawmakers blast US letter on Turkey

ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
Turkish lawmakers blast US letter on Turkey

Decrying its slander against Turkey, a group of key Turkish lawmakers on Feb. 12 criticized a letter sent by 54 U.S. senators to President Joe Biden.

"[The letter] is the latest example of hostile attempts against Turkey which are condemned to fail and inconsistent with the spirit of alliance,” wrote the 87 Turkish lawmakers, all members of the Turkey-U.S. Parliamentary Friendship Group.

“The signatory Senators’ baseless and irresponsible allegations targeting our domestic and foreign policy in no way conform to our strategic partnership with the U.S. nor to our alliance under NATO," it added.

"It is of importance that our two countries, enjoying a relationship of alliance and friendship on the basis of common political values, act in mutual respect and sincere dialogue, while taking into consideration their respective sensitivities with regard to the many challenges they face,” said the Turkish lawmakers.

The lawmakers expressed surprise that in "our allies and friends [there is] of a group of politicians who have yet to recognize that ever since its founding, the Republic of Turkey is, and has always been, a fully independent modern democratic state based on the rule of law, ensuring that the people’s will shall always prevail unconditionally without discrimination against its citizens on the basis of race or color."

The Tuesday letter by the U.S. senators urged Biden to push Turkey on its human rights record.

The letter, written by Democrat Ron Wyden and Republican Marco Rubio, falsely alleges that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "has taken the country down an increasingly authoritarian path" and "marginalized domestic opposition" as well as "silenced or co-opted critical media outlets.”

The Turkish lawmakers decried the contradiction in branding the protesters who raided the U.S. Congress on Jan. 6 “terrorists” while trying to whitewash as “innocent human rights advocates” members of the FETÖ, the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, which killed 251 people and injured thousands.

"The signatory Senators’ bolstering of FETO’s slanders is a hypocritical attitude which casts doubt on the sincerity of U.S. officials’ statements denying any ties to the attempted coup," the Turkish lawmakers said.

"While calling on the signatory Senators to act in common sense, we expect responsible politicians to support their ally instead of criticizing us in our struggle against FETO members or other terrorist organizations trying to harm Turkey," it added.

The defeated 2016 coup in Turkey also left nearly 2,200 injured in less than 12 hours.

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.

Turkish officials have for years been pushing for the U.S. to extradite Gülen from his residence in the state of Pennsylvania.

Despite providing evidence that the coup attempt was organized on Gülen's orders, Ankara's efforts at extradition have been rebuffed by U.S. officials.