Turkey on Thursday “completely” rejected the recent annual US human rights report, calling it “baseless”. Ankara also called on Washington to recognize Turkey’s efforts against terrorism in all its forms.
A Foreign Ministry statement called the report, released by the US State Department on Tuesday, “unfortunate” and said it contains “baseless accusations.”
Ankara “completely rejects” the report, the ministry said, adding that it regrets that the United States does not recognize Turkey’s efforts against terrorism in all its forms, especially against the PKK terrorist groups and its Syrian branch, the YPG, Daesh, Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), and the far-left DHKP-C.
In its more than 40-year campaign of terror against Turkey, the PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union, has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children and babies .
In the report “widely covering the lies” of FETÖ, the group behind an attempted coup in Turkey on July 15, 2016, the ministry said that “despite all the concrete evidence we have provided about this organization terrorist, the United States continues to be instrumentalized. for their propaganda.
FETÖ and its US-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the failed July 2016 coup in Turkey, in which 251 people were killed and 2,734 injured.
FETÖ was also behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, in particular the army, police and judiciary.
It is also “unacceptable” that the report contains claims that disregard the PKK as a terrorist organization, which amounts to supporting the claims of circles affiliated with terrorism, the ministry stressed.
Turkey “stands firm” in promoting and protecting human rights, he said, adding that concrete examples of this include the country’s cooperation with international human rights mechanisms, along with a judicial reform strategy it enacted in 2019. and a human rights action plan in 2021.
On March 2, 2021, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the human rights plan, revealing 11 core principles to be implemented over two years.
It is designed as a “broad-based” plan to strengthen the protection of individual rights, freedoms, and security, judicial independence, personal privacy, transparency, and property rights, as well as to protect vulnerable groups and improve administrative and social awareness of human rights.
Turkey further called on the US to focus on its own human rights record and stop the association it made with affiliates of terrorist groups under the guise of fighting terrorism.
The ministry said Turkey intends to “continue its efforts to develop and protect the rights of its citizens, as well as those of the millions of people it hosts.”
Turkey and the US recently announced that they launched a strategic mechanism to further expand the countries’ bilateral cooperation, according to a joint statement.
The announcement came on the sidelines of a meeting between Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal and US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in the capital Ankara.
Turkey and the US announced the culmination of months of talks to establish a procedure to improve their tense ties, with a view to cooperation in the areas of economy and defense.
Erdoğan and Biden agreed in October to launch the “Strategic Mechanism” talks, for which officials have now cleared the way.
The announcement of the new mechanism comes after the decades-long partnership between the two NATO allies, Turkey and the US, has been in unprecedented tumult over the past seven years over disagreements on many issues, including the most Syrian and Ankara straits with Moscow. There are additional sources of tension for the two countries, including US support for the YPG, whom Turkey regards as terrorists, and the continued residence in the US of FETÖ figures, including its leader Fethullah Gülen, who masterminded the failed coup attempt against the Turkish government in 2016.
The United States has primarily partnered with the YPG in northeastern Syria to fight the Daesh terror group, but Turkey has strongly opposed the YPG’s presence in northern Syria.
Furthermore, the US sanctioned the Turkish defense industry in December 2020 for its purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems and kicked its ally out of its F-35 fighter jet program. Ankara called the moves unfair, but the allies have since been working to put aside differences and focus on cooperation, including in Ukraine.