Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday that terrorist groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Qaeda have no links to Islam but that the West is supporting them.
While addressing a joint session of the Pakistani Parliament in Islamabad on Thursday, a day after he arrived in the country, Erdoğan said Turkey is carrying oout its fight against terrorist groups ISIL, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria.
“While our struggle [against those terror groups] continues, what we are seeing is that all arms [used by those terrorists] originated in the West,” he said.
This is the third time Erdoğan has addressed the Pakistani parliament, having previously spoken at parliamentary sessions in October 2009 and May 2012.
Earlier in the day at joint press conference with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Erdoğan said Turkey is in the process of warning all its friends around the world against the Gülen movement, accused by Erdoğan and the Turkish government of plotting a failed coup attempt on July 15.
Despite the fact that Fethullah Gülen, a self-exiled Turkish Islamic scholar in the US and the inspiration for the Gülen movement, has denied the accusations and called for an international investigation, Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.
Pakistan, which had earlier promised Turkey that it would look into the affairs of the Pak-Turk education network that Ankara wanted shut down for its alleged links to Gülen, asked teachers who work at schools affiliated with the movement to leave the country.
A total of 108 teachers are working at 23 schools affiliated with the Gülen movement in Pakistan, which operate under the name of Pak-Turk International Schools and Colleges. They have been asked to leave the country with their families, numbering 450 people in total.