Fahrettin Altun, communications director for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, spoke with US Ambassador David Satterfield on Wednesday, claiming that the faith-based Gülen movement was behind the recent acts of violence in the US.
Altun’s office released a written statement on his phone conversation with Satterfield.
“Reiterating that peaceful protests were legitimate and violence was categorically illegitimate in democracies, Communications Director Altun stressed that FETÖ and ANTIFA, which cooperates with PKK-YPG terrorists in Syria, have been supporting acts of violence in the United States,” the statement read.
“Turkey continues to work closely with the United States, our friend and NATO ally, whom we have repeatedly warned against the terrorist organizations FETÖ and PKK-YPG in the past, against all terrorist groups.”
FETÖ is a derogatory term used by the Turkish government to refer to the Gülen movement, which it accuses of staging a failed coup in July 2016. The movement strongly denies any involvement.
Turkey’s pro-government media outlets have drawn parallels between the past week’s nationwide US protests over the killing of an unarmed black man by a police officer and the 2013 Gezi Park protests in İstanbul, which pro-government figures now describe as a coup attempt.
Pro-government journalists have also claimed that Gülen-linked NBA basketball player Enes Kanter’s support for the protests was proof that the movement was seeking to manipulate US politics.