Gulen's FETO structure strong in Balkans: expert

 22 Aug 2016 - 13:29

Gulen's FETO structure strong in Balkans: expert
 

IZMIR, Turkey: The Fetullah Gulen Organization (FETO) has a strong structure in the Balkans, head of the Balkan Center for Strategic Studies said Monday.
Rifat Sait, who was also a former Izmir deputy for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, said in a statement: "Balkans is where FETO is most powerful. FETO members have grabbed important positions in Albania. 
“While I was president of the Turkish-Albanian inter-parliamentary friendship group, FETO members used to attend meetings with official delegations." 
Sait added Turkey expects Balkan countries to act as Turkey's friend.
He appreciated the fact that Turkey received information about some pro-coup Turkish soldiers from Balkans. "For example, we received notices that some of the pro-coup soldiers who fled to Greece with a helicopter could be smuggled through Bulgaria," he added.
Eight Turkish soldiers fled Turkey on July 16, the morning after the failed coup attempt, and arrived in Greece aboard a hijacked military helicopter.
Turkey demands Greece to extradite them and promises to give them a fair trial. An asylum hearing for the eight soldiers began in Athens Friday.
Greece received Turkey’s official extradition request Thursday, which states the eight soldiers had been charged with violating the Turkish constitution through force and violence, and attempting to assassinate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They are also accused of crimes against legislative organs and the Turkish government.
Turkey's government has said the defeated coup, which left 240 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured, was organized by followers of Fetullah Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999, and his FETO network.
Gulen is accused of leading a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the parallel state.

AA