Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said mutual efforts will help get rid of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
His remarks came during a joint news conference in capital Sarajevo with Bakir Izetbegovic, the Bosniak member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
FETO 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 FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Erdogan likened the terrorist group to an octopus, which envelops every field of society.
“The struggle is real. Through mutual endeavours we expect to rid Bosnia of FETO’s presence.”
“FETO is trying to maintain its presence as an octopus, with its arms tied up in every aspect of the society. The struggle in this area is going to be a big effort and we expect that will help get rid of terrorist group FETO’s presence in Bosnia with mutual endeavors. We are open to any kind of business alliance against FETO. We will continue our work with the Bosnian authorities to take concrete steps. Turkey will continue to support Bosnia for the issues it needs,” said Erdogan.
Commenting on unconfirmed reports of a possible life threat, Erdogan said: “This threat will not deviate us from our path. This news from MIT [Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization] has reached me and yet I am here.”
“Such threats can not stop us from our way. Thousands of people from different parts of Europe will not be right for me if they can not meet with a leader they want to meet. Our plan is a very different plan. When we go out our way, we go on, as we did on July 15,” said Erdogan.
According to intelligence sources who spoke on the condition anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, there were reports that a group of Turkish citizens were planning an assassination attempt on Erdogan.
Erdogan said Turkey will continue supporting Bosnia’s NATO membership bid.
“We will continue our active struggle to enable the NATO membership action plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina as soon as possible, and we will never leave Bosnia and Herzegovina alone,” he added.
Turkish leader arrived in the Bosnian capital on an official visit on Sunday. He was welcomed by flag-waving Bosnian and Turkish citizens in front of the presidency building.
He is accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Cavusoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu, Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci, Minister of Youth and Sports Osman Askin Bak, Minister of Culture and Tourism Numan Kurtulmus, Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication Ahmet Arslan and Head of Turkish Religious Affairs Ali Erbas.
Erdogan will attend the sixth general assembly of the Union of European Turkish Democrats (UETD) and address students at the International University of Sarajevo, where an honorary doctorate will be awarded to the president.