By Sinan Uslu, Enes Kaplan and Nazli Yuzbasioglu
UPDATES WITH MORE QUOTES BY ERDOGAN, MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT
ANKARA (AA) - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday reiterated Turkey’s firm stance against the terror group behind the 2016 defeated coup.
“We are determined to eradicate this organization all over the world,” Erdogan said in a joint news conference alongside his Macedonian counterpart Gjorge Ivanov in the capital Ankara.
Erdogan added: “In this context, we really want to see concrete steps by Macedonia in the fight against FETO [Fetullah Terrorist Organization].”
Meanwhile Erdogan supported Macedonia's stance in its row with Greece about the country's name.
“We made our stance clear by being the first country to recognize Macedonia with its constitutional name and national identity, and to appoint an ambassador,” Erdogan said.
Macedonia was found in 1991 and has been recognized by the UN in 1993, but was accepted to the UN membership with the name of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) due to Greek objection to the name Macedonia.
Some 118 countries, including Turkey, currently recognize Macedonia under its constitutional name.
Greece does not accept Macedonia’s name as it has a region by the same name in the north of the country. Greece also argues that the former Yugoslav Republic has claims on its territory and its historical heritage.
Since 2017, negotiations have stepped up, as the new government in Skopje wants a deal over its name with Athens, which can veto its NATO and EU membership.
Ivanov thanked Erdogan for Turkey’s “principled stance” over the name issue.
The Macedonian president also voiced support for democratically elected Turkish authorities in the face of any kind of terrorism.
“We are aware of all the steps taken by the Turkish Republic. We realize the harm that you [Turkey] suffered from FETO and other terror groups,” Ivanov said. “We are against all kinds of terrorism.”
The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of 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.