Ties with US are at ‘very critical point’: FM Çavuşoğlu

Strained by American support for a terrorist group in Syria, Turkish relations with the U.S. are close to breaking, warned Turkey’s foreign minister on Monday.

“Ties with the U.S. are at very critical point. We will either fix these relations or they will break completely,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Istanbul on the sidelines of a Turkish-African meeting in Istanbul.

“We want concrete steps [from U.S.]. The missing trust needs to be restored. The reason for that missing trust is the U.S.,” he said.

Criticizing U.S. ties with the YPG/PKK terror group in Syria — the armed wing of the terrorist PYD/PKK — he said: “The U.S. is not touching Daesh members in Syria as an excuse to continue working with YPG/PKK terrorist group.”

Turkish FM warns African states of FETÖ terror group

Çavuşoğlu warned African countries about the threat of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.

“FETÖ has never ever represented Turkey,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told the Turkey-Africa Ministerial Review Conference in Istanbul — the second since 2008, the year a strategic partnership between Turkey and Africa began.

“Never think that they represent Turkey just because they use the word ‘Turk’” in their names, he told the conference, which Anadolu Agency is serving as official photo provider.

“They are only exploiting the Turkish flag and Turkish name in order to reach their purposes,” he added.

Cavusoglu said that many African countries gave “strong support” to Turkey following the defeated coup.

“In many African countries, FETO schools were shut down. […] Many of them were transferred to the Maarif Foundation,” which Turkey established to assume the administration of FETO-linked overseas schools, a considerable income stream for the terrorist group.

To date, around 30 African countries have handed over FETÖ schools to Maarif or closed them down at Ankara’s request.

The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

Bilateral ties

Calling African countries “close friends and neighbors,” he said: “African countries want a better life. We approach world issues with the same vision. Together we want the international order to be fairer and more democratic.

“Our relations further deepened with the Turkey-Africa Union summits held in 2008 and 2014.”

Turkey and African countries see their economic ties through a win-win perspective, he added.

He pointed to Turkey’s Africa outreach initiative and partnership policy.

Turkey declared 2005 the Year of Africa and later the African Union declared Turkey a strategic partner of the continent, Cavusoglu noted.