UPDATE- Türkiye thanks Asia partners for solidarity on FETO

UPDATE- Türkiye thanks Asia partners for solidarity on FETO

On anniversary of 2016 coup bid, Turkish foreign minister speaks to reporters at ASEAN meeting in Indonesia


By Muhammed Enes Calli

ISTANBUL (AA) - The Turkish foreign minister on Saturday thanked the country's Asian partners for their support in the fight against Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated 2016 coup bid.

"I assure you the cooperation of our friends from the Asian region in the fight against FETO is recognized and appreciated. We are determined to achieve more together in eradicating the terrorism once and for all, " Hakan Fidan said during a news conference at the ASEAN-Türkiye Sectoral Dialogue Partnership Trilateral Meeting held in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Honoring those killed in the coup bid, he said they made the "greatest sacrifice" and fought to protect Turkish democracy, sovereignty, and freedom.

On July 15, 2016, FETO orchestrated a coup bid in Türkiye which left 252 people dead and over 2,734 injured.

The day is commemorated as the Democracy and National Unity Day in Türkiye.

Türkiye was granted the status of ASEAN sectoral dialogue partner in 2017. The trade and political bloc comprises 10 Southeast Asian nations.

- Global challenges

Fidan said: "We are at the edge of a major transformation in the international system. All over the world, regional and civil conflicts are on the rise. Global economic recovery is weak."

"Energy crisis is far from over. Poverty, inequality, food insecurity and climate shocks are at alarming levels. The challenge to achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030 is beyond our reach," he said, putting the spotlight on global challenges.

The enhanced cooperation between Southeast Asia and Türkiye has the potential to leave a lasting impact on the global state of affairs, Fidan said.

"Türkiye seeks peaceful solutions to today's increasingly complex conflicts. From Ukraine to Somalia, the Philippines and Balkans, we are proud of the tangible results of mediation efforts."

He said the Black Sea grain initiative that Türkiye brokered with Russia, Ukraine and the UN avoided an acute food shortage in the world.

ASEAN has truly been an important platform in establishing peace and prosperity in Southeast Asia, Fidan added.

"Türkiye and ASEAN together can truly present significant peaceful solutions."

Stating that Türkiye saw exports worth $254 billion in 2022 and its GDP reported a 4% year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 2023, Fidan said that Türkiye and ASEAN are major powerhouses for economic growth in their prospective regions.

"There is much to gain from deepening our relationship on common priorities."

- Asia Anew

Fidan recalled that Türkiye's Asia Anew Initiative prioritizes cooperation in the areas of trade, investments, defense,, connectivity, green energy and digital technologies while upholding sustainable development goals.

Highlighting the importance of effective multilateralism, Fidan emphasized that today the most challenging obstacles transcend borders.

He added that irregular migration, climate change, climate-related disasters, and the critical state of waste management are some of these difficulties.

Türkiye and Southeast Asia are among the most affected by these challenges, according to Fidan.

He expressed that the solidarity shown by ASEAN members after the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye on Feb. 6 was a significant support that Türkiye will always remember.

More than 50,000 people were killed and over 107,200 injured in the powerful earthquakes that rocked southern Türkiye on Feb. 6, according to the latest official figures.

- Message for oversees Turkish citizens

Fidan delivered a speech at the Turkish Embassy in Jakarta to mark the Democracy and National Unity Day.

"Seven years ago, on July 15, the proxy elements of international imperialists took action to seize control of Türkiye.

"Our nation, under the leadership of our president, thwarted this treacherous attempt and opened the doors to the Century of Türkiye," he added.

He added millions of people poured into the streets in response to the call of our President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to stop the coup attempt.

"Our loyal soldiers, police officers, intelligence officers, and other government officials, together with the people, collectively eliminated the treacherous plot of the FETO terrorist organization."

It is crucial for Turkish citizens living abroad to remain vigilant and united against FETO and other entities targeting Türkiye, he warned.

"This applies to our citizens living in Indonesia as well. We will need the spirit of solidarity that you will demonstrate in this region more than ever."

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