Turkey on Friday reached out to India over its concerns about the network of Sufi leader Fethullah Gulen, which it holds responsible for the July 16 coup attempt. The discussion on the Gulen network was the highlight of wide-ranging exchange between the visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
“There were discussions on the terrorist attacks in Turkey and the internal developments, including the recent coup attempt. In this context, the Turkish side briefed about the role of Fethullah Gulen-led organisation [FETO],” sources confirmed to the media after Mr. Cavusoglu met Ms. Swaraj.
Friday’s discussion marked the first time that Turkey took up the Gulen network’s role with India at the level of Foreign Ministers. Earlier this month, Turkey had asked India to act against several institutions affiliated to the ideology of Fethullah Gulen.
However, India has adopted a cautious approach and has not promised a crackdown on the organisation’s affiliates till now.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to cleanse Turkey of the groups that backed the military coup plotters.
Mr. Cavusoglu’s visit to India was part of the global diplomacy that Turkey has launched since the coup attempt to convince major powers about the threats against the government.
Turkey began the campaign to contain Gulen network in India hours after the coup failed in Ankara with the Ambassador of Turkey, Burak Ackapar, demanding a “sympathetic” hearing from India on Turkey’s concerns.