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Turkey: US report on terrorism 'incomplete and biased'

Spokesperson of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Tanju Bilgic makes a speech as he holds a press briefing in Ankara, Turkey on 21 October 2021. [Cem Özdel - Anadolu Agency]
Spokesperson of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Tanju Bilgic in Ankara, Turkey on 21 October 2021. [Cem Özdel/Anadolu Agency]

Ankara stated on Friday that the US State Department's Country Report on Terrorism for 2020 "reflects an incomplete and biased approach" regarding Turkish efforts to fight terrorist groups.

In a statement for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç responded that in the report: "It is seen that Türkiye's fight against terrorist organisations such as PKK, DHKP-C and DEASH [sic] and its active contributions to international counter-terrorism efforts were not evaluated in a fair manner."

He added: "In the Syria section of the report, stating that PKK-affiliated groups are our country's primary concern in the fight against terrorism in Syria is an admission that the SDF/PYD/YPG is the same as the PKK, even if these groups are not mentioned by name."

Bilgiç continued: "Our US counterparts are also well aware that the so-called 'SDF' which receives US support in the guise of fighting DEASH [sic], is under the guidance of the PKK. For this reason, it is unacceptable that the report does not mention the terrorist attacks by PKK-affiliated groups targeting civilians, including hospitals, in Syria, resulting in the deaths of more than 120 innocent people in the last year."

The spokesperson also asserted: "In the report, it is observed that Türkiye's just and legitimate fight against the heinous FETO terrorist organisation is assessed with prejudice, without taking into account the bloody coup attempt and organised crime activities of this sneaky organisation."

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According to the Turkish official: "Türkiye maintains its fight against terrorism on the basis of the rule of law and without making any distinction among terrorist organisations, while ensuring the balance between security and rights and freedoms prudently."

"Therefore," he stressed, "the allegations in the report indicating that rights and freedoms were restricted disproportionately and in an unjustified manner are baseless and unacceptable."

Concluding the statement, Bilgiç expressed: "Attitudes and rhetoric beyond this are incompatible with the efforts aimed at enhancing international cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the spirit of alliance relationship."

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