Turkish PM accuses opposition candidate of failing to address terrorism

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Saturday criticized the country’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce for failing to address the nation’s fight against terrorism in his campaign ahead of the presidential election set to take place on June 24, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Yıldırım’s statement follows CHP’s outspoken candidate İnce’s recent comments alleging close ties between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Fethullah Gülen, the leader of the Gülen movement which the Turkish government calls the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and holds responsible for masterminding the July 2015 coup attempt.

''They don't have single word to say about FETO, except that there was no proper request for his extradition,'' said Yıldırım regarding the CHP while campaigning for the AKP on Saturday.

Yıldırm noted that the CHP presidential candidate İnce is failing to speak about the threat facing Turkey at the hands of terrorist groups, namely the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group which has has been at war in Turkey for over 30 years, ISIS, and ‘’FETÖ.’’

The Turkish prime minister also blasted İnce for his claims that he received a phone call from the U.S. which indicated that Turkey had failed to properly request the extradition of Gülen, a claim which contradicts government statements that the U.S. is refusing to cooperate with Turkey on the matter.

The Gülen movement was allied to Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) until a power struggle divided the groups in 2013.