Gulenists were responsible for July’s attempted coup in Turkey, a U.K. minister said Tuesday, APA reports quoting Anadolu agency.
Giving evidence to the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, Foreign Minister Alan Duncan said Gulenists, or the Fetullah Terror Organization (FETO), played a leading role in the coup bid, which led to the deaths of at least 248 people.
Asked if he believed FETO was behind the coup attempt, he replied: “In terms of significant involvement, the answer is yes.
“The nature of that organization is not entirely clear because a lot of it is hidden, it works underground. The fact is there was a massive organization here which did try and overturn an entire democratic structure.”
Turkey has said FETO planned the coup and has been pushing for the group's leader, Fetullah Gulen, to be extradited from the U.S.
Duncan, who was one of the first ministers from an EU nation to visit Turkey in the wake of the failed takeover, said the U.K. government had worked to understand what happened on July 15 and in the aftermath.
“I think when everybody was quick from the comfort of their armchair to wag the finger, we tried to understand exactly what the coup attempt really was,” he told lawmakers. “And it was a searing, seismic political event.”
Duncan also highlighted the threats Turkey faces from terror groups such as the PKK and Daesh.
Last weekend, Prime Minister Theresa May visited Ankara and Duncan said Britain wanted to construct a “deep strategic relationship” with Turkey.
The committee recently visited Turkey and is due to release a report in the spring.