This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Turkey has asked India to eliminate what it calls the “infiltration” of organizations linked to the controversial Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of staging last month’s failed coup. During an interview on Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu alleged that Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organisation has increased its presence around the world and it had also “infiltrated” India through associations and schools.
In his remarks, Cavusoglu revealed that “I have already taken up this issue with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. In all countries where FETO has a presence, we ask them to take immediate actions to remove them from their territories.” According to Cavusoglu, terrorism should be eliminated in all its forms and manifestations “therefore, exchange of information regarding these threats and bilateral and multilateral cooperation and solidarity against terrorism is crucial. This is what both Turkey and India are focused on.” Upon inquiry after the interview, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup responded that the Indian side is “sensitive” to Turkish concerns and Indian security agencies were currently “looking into” Ankara’s request to close associations connected with the FETO if it’s carrying out illegal activities.
Cavusoglu’s remarks have come just a day after at least 50 people were killed and more than 90 others were injured in a suicide bomb attack in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep on Saturday. Almost 240 people were killed and over 1,500 were wounded in a failed coup in Turkey on July 15.