UPDATES WITH MORE QUOTES, DETAILS
By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday vowed to unveil the true face worldwide of Fetullah Terror Organization (FETO) -- the group behind 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.
Erdogan was speaking at an event organized by Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC) and Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) in New York.
The president said FETO has abused Turkish people for 40 years, touting service education, and financial favor and built a criminal network operating in 150 countries across the world.
"The biggest feature of FETO is that it has no sacred value, [it has a] principle to abuse. [Telling] Lies, slander, [and] hypocrisy are their characteristics," said Erdogan.
"Together with you, we will unmask in the entire world this terror group, which martyred 251 people on July 15 night."
"Until all coup plotters are brought to justice, we will not quit going after them," said the president.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara 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 said Turkey is taking necessary steps for extradition of Gulen and to halt its all operations in the U.S.
Later, the president told reporters that pro-FETO figures in the U.S. are making efforts to harm Ankara-Washington relations and cause unrest among Muslims.
Earlier, Turkish Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun also said that Gulen’s cult uses American taxpayers’ money and therefore his cult is not only Turkey’s problem but Americans' as well.
In his remarks, Erdogan said Turkey will also continue to back Palestinian cause, saying Palestine is a "red line" for Turkey.
"No power, threat can prevent us from protecting the law of Palestine," said Erdogan.
"Jerusalem cause is not only the cause of a handful of Muslims in Palestine, but the dignity of the 1.7-billion Islamic world."
He also said Turkey continues to seek justice for murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Mohammad Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected prime minister.
Morsi died of a sudden heart attack in June while he was in court. He was ousted in a military coup in 2013.
Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and contributor to The Washington Post, who was killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives shortly after he entered the consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Speaking about terror groups, the Turkish president said that besides harming Muslims, the groups such as Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, al-Shabab and FETO provide enemies of Islam ground for abuse.