Turkish Embassy in Wellington

Embassy Announcement

Top Eu Figure Accepts Gulen Role In Turkey Coup Bid , 17.11.2016

Claims about the role of the Fetullah Gulen Terrorist Organization in Turkey’s foiled coup attempt on July 15 are not “total nonsense”, a senior European official has said.

Frans Timmermans, first vice-president of the European Commission, was quoted in an interview with a Belgian magazine published on Tuesday saying U.S. investigations had pointed to "growing indications that the [Gulen] movement certainly played a role".

"It is now clear that what [Turkish] President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says about the role of the Gulen movement in the coup is not total nonsense," Timmermans added.

The European official also said: “I think the Turks have a point when they say that there was very little empathy from the outside world in the foiled coup.”

He also said Europe could have been “more generous in our support” and said it “underestimated what took place” in Turkey.

Timmermans' statement is the first time a senior European Commission official has spoken of Gulen’s involvement in the coup attempt.

Turkey has said the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which is also known as the parallel state structure (PDY), was behind the attempted coup which resulted in the deaths of 246 people.

The group led by Fetullah Gulen is said to be behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

Ankara has stepped up demands for Gulen’s extradition from the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since July 15.

Reporting by Hasan Esen ; Writing by Burcu Arik

(Source: Anadolu Agency - http://aa.com.tr/en/europe/top-eu-figure-accepts-gulen-role-in-turkey-coup-bid/686637)