Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday said that Turkey was the only country that could lead the Muslim world.
“Turkey, with its cultural wealth, accretion of history and geographical location, has hosted diverse faiths in peace for centuries, and is the only country that can lead the Muslim world,” he said in a meeting with religious officials.
Turkey neutralized 7,500 PKK, Daesh terrorists
Touching upon Turkey’s fight against terror, the president said: “We will continue to take every measure needed against terrorist organizations. We have inflicted heavy blows to these organizations during this period. We have neutralized approximately 7,500 Daesh and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States. The PKK has been conducting armed violence in the southeastern part of Turkey since 1984. More than 40,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the three-decade long conflict.
Turkey's diplomatic success protects 4M people in Idlib
Some four million civilians taking shelter in Syria's Idlib province -- with Turkey's efforts -- have been protected from a possible massacre and migration risk imposed by the Bashar al-Assad regime and its allies.Located in northwest Syria, Idlib has become one of the regions hit by the greatest wave of violence during the Syrian civil war. Therefore, it was declared a de-escalation zone following the Astana meeting by Turkey, Russia and Iran on May 4-5, 2017.At the same time, being the "stronghold" of the military opposition amid the civil war, Idlib received a great number of refugees.Due to the attacks by the Assad regime and its allies, the civilians fled from various parts of the country to Idlib, increasing the population of the province to nearly four million.In addition, the military opposition which were forcefully evacuated from the many points that the regime had recently seized through the blockade were also gathered in Idlib.Idlib -- where armed groups such as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Huraseddin also have a presence along with the opposition -- has turned into the new target of the regime and allies in the summer.While the regime forces intensely deployed military elements to Idlib -- surrounding it from three directions -- the regime head Assad and Russian officials made threatening statements towards the region.The regime and Russia launched airstrikes on Idlib on Sept. 4. Tens of thousands of civilians began to migrate towards the regions near the Turkish border or the Turkish army's observation points in the country.As the UN increased its warnings on a possible huge civilian massacre, migration wave and humanitarian crisis in Idlib, Turkey accelerated its diplomacy traffic.Turkish officials conducted meetings with delegations of Russia and Iran, the guarantors of the Syrian cease-fire within the framework of Astana agreements.Following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's proposal during the trilateral summit held in Tehran on Sept. 7, Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on additional measures to maintain the cease-fire in Idlib in a meeting held in Sochi on Sept. 17.Following the Sochi Agreement, a new phase started in Idlib -- the regime and Russia ended their airstrikes and threats.Some 80,000 civilians who left their homes following the attacks returned to Idlib. The civilians, encouraged by the Turkish army's presence at the observation points, began to repair their houses damaged by the attacks.Despite the difficult conditions, the families began to send their children to schools. The environment of trust revived the social and economic life in the city.World congratulated Turkey for Idlib deal: ErdoğanErdoğan: Turkey to remain in Idlib, help people in need
Turkey waged real struggle against FETÖ
Turkey mounted the greatest struggle against the terror group Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) under its current leadership, Erdoğan said.
“The real struggle against FETÖ was waged only in our term,” Erdoğan said, referring to the , the group behind a defeated coup in 2016.
“But let me tell you, we were late too. Unfortunately, we paid the price for being late,” Erdogan added, speaking to a group of muftis at the Presidential Complex in the capital Ankara.
Former teacher recalls experience at FETÖ school
A Turkish teacher who worked in FETÖ-linked schools in the United States from 2008 to 2015 gave a first-hand account of his time with the terror group.Ersin Konkur, who is living in the U.S. for the past 10 years, has witnessed many unlawful incidents in charter schools of the terror group. Konkur said because of the wrongdoings, he felt alienated and eventually left and filed a lawsuit against FETÖ.Konkur said FETÖ is listed as a terrorist group in Turkey, but not in the U.S."They need to be listed as a mafia in the U.S.," Konkur said."They are indeed a mafia. They con the state and steal from it. There are people in the U.S. government, in the FBI, that scour the bank accounts of the group members. These things will eventually come into light."FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeat coup on July 15, 2016 in Turkey, which left 251 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, including the military, police, and education.FETÖ also has a considerable presence outside Turkey, including private educational institutions that serve as a revenue stream for the terrorist group.Konkur said that Western countries who support this group know that it is "full of liars".FETÖ terror group afloat in Ethiopia with German supportPaying backHe said that the FETÖ structure around the world, including its schools, requires employees to pay back to the group."Whether they are school principals or teachers, they must pay from their salaries to the group," he said.Sharing his experience about a FETÖ charter school in the state of Texas, Konkur said the system works "when you always give something from your salary"."A school principal told me that he would sign me to a salary, for example, $3000," Konkur said. "When I see $3500 credited in my bank account that means I have to give back the $500.""It does not end with that," Konkur said. "You have to pay tax returns, alms (zakat) and money for sacrificial animal. You constantly give them back what you earned."He added that employees did not get paid for the extra hours they put in."The school principal told me to work extra on Saturdays, but to give the money to him," he said."It does not matter if you work hard or not. You are getting paid according to your social status in the group. It is like a communist system."Misusing staffKonkur said administrator-level employees carried out the unlawful tasks."I have never been a manager in those schools. One time, I was offered a principal duty in a school in Syracuse. I told them I would not do their illegal business. They withdrew their offer when I said so."The terror group also does illegal paper work to overpay their members, so that the extra money goes in their accounts."There was a teacher in Dallas in the year 2012-13. That person was teaching Turkish. Because the group applied to the work visa of this individual as a deputy school principal, he was getting paid $60,000 annually. But in fact, his earnings should have been around $48,000 if he was registered as a teacher. I complained to the Texas Education Agency. They understood I filed the issue, so eventually I left Texas," Konkur said.FETÖ gives all tender bids related to its charter schools to its own affiliated organizations, he said.“When any kind of services or items are needed to be purchased for the schools, the group finds a way to create business with its members and everything is done through that firm.“These charter schools are so-called non-profit schools. The mentioned foundations are also non-profit foundations on paper. However, the money we are talking about is huge. We are talking about $10,000 per student right now. The money is under their control and in a way, it is being transferred to Gulen’s companies."FBI investigationHe said the FBI and other concerned state authorities are investigating fraud in the schools.“I do not know the FBI’s approach on this, however, I do know that there are people who are closely following the matter.”He said there is no freedom in the FETÖ structure and a person needs permission even to get married.Konkur said he has filed six claims against FETÖ-affilated institutions and the judge has accepted three, related to money taken from him through threats.Describing the FETÖ's journey to terrorism, he said: “From my understanding, they channeled the government’s resources into the organization at more serious levels in Turkey than it was done in the U.S. You are feeding your organization through government resources. When the tap shuts, then there is crisis within the organization.”He finally called on those affiliated to FETÖ and urged them to "open up their eyes."“My advice to them is to open up their eyes and think; they must comprehend the matters by looking at them from outside," he added.
Citing the December 2013 plot against government ministers and leading businesspeople, Erdogan said that if Turkey hadn't fought FETÖ since that plot, despite obstruction by the main opposition, the 2016 coup attempt would have turned out differently.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 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.
Dec. 17-25, 2013 saw a graft probe and the detention of prominent figures in a FETÖ plot to overthrow Turkey’s elected government.
Turkish agency continues aid in Palestine, Pakistan
Turkey's state-run aid agency has provided equipment to a hospital in Palestine and built a school library and playground in Pakistan.According to a statement by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) on Monday, the agency provided five infant incubators to the Al Razi hospital in Jenin, Palestine.The statement said infant mortality is very high in the Jenin area, as according to statistics, 18 out of 1,000 babies die from various causes before reaching even age one.TIKA also built a container library and a playground at Gharibabad Girls' School in the northern Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, TIKA Islamabad Coordinator Mehmet Emre Aktuna told reporters on Monday.Paleolithic art unveiled after dam water ebbs in SE TurkeyCycling: Fourth stage of Tour of Turkey beginsTurkey's milk production up 11.3 pct in August