As it has before a number of times, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said Greece has allowed what it calls terrorists from supporters of a cleric exiled in the United States to stay in Greece.
That came after an interview with the religious leader, Fethullah Gülen on Greek television, leading Turkey to say Greece is harboring members of his movement known as FETO which opposes the government of President Recep Tayyip Erodgan, who blamed them for leading a failed 2016 coup attempt.
Members of that group have come into Greece seeking asylum or sanctuary, fearing for their lives in Turkey after Erdogan targeted them and purged civil society, the military, judiciary and education sector and jailed journalists.
“Greece has become a safe destination for members of the FETO, as there they can move unimpeded and work to achieving their goals. Alongside them are the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and other terrorist organizations who continue to operate in Greece” said Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy, reported Kathimerini.
He said Greece should work with Turkey and extradite FETO members, claiming they are a threat to safety in the region, the plea coming as Greek and Turkish officials on March 16 will sit down for a 62nd round of exploratory talks that have gone nowhere for years.
This time they are concentrating on Turkey’s plan to drill for oil and gas in the Aegean and East Mediterranean and its claims to waters around Greek islands, which has brought the countries at times to near-conflict levels.