By John Ikani
The President of Turkey, Recep Erdogan, says the terrorists who tried to remove him through a coup in 2016 are still active in Nigeria.
Erdogan made this known on Wednesday at a joint press conference with President Muhammadu Buhari on the occasion of his official visit to Nigeria.
During his speech, President Erdogan solicited cooperation from Nigeria as his country battle terrorism, stressing that his country has been battling terrorism for many years.
Recall that Erdogan had in 2016 accused allies of renowned cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who own Turkish schools and hospitals across Nigeria, of sponsoring the coup.
Turkish Envoy in Nigeria, Mr. Hakan Cakil, had at the time called on Buhari to close the Turkish schools and hospitals in Nigeria belonging to a group of private Turkish investors who are inspired by the philosophy of the Hizmet movement.
The Nigerian government had, however, rejected the proposal, causing tension between both countries.
In what appears to be a reconciliatory move, Erdogan on Wednesday told Buhari that his administration would share intelligence with Nigerian authorities.
What the Turkish President said:
“Distinguished members of the press, as Turkey, we have been closely monitoring the developments unfolding in Nigeria, our brotherly and friendly nation.
“The terrorist organisations, the armed gangs and the marine bandits are continuously active in Nigeria and the Nigerian authorities are continuously fighting against them. So, in order to cooperate further in the fields of military, defense, and security, we are doing everything that will be available….
“As we’re probably aware of the fact that Turkey has been fighting against terrorist organisations for many decades, such as the PKK, PYD, FETO, DASH and other terrorist organisations.
“The perpetrator of the heinous failed coup of July the 15th, FETO, is still illegally active in Nigeria, and we are continuously sharing our intelligence with the Nigerian interlocutors and authorities. I hope and pray that our Nigerian brothers will forge a closer solidarity in this field with us, the Republic of Turkey. I hope and pray that our visit will yield the most auspicious results and I would like to thank my distinguished brother, President Buhari, for being such a gracious host for me and for my delegation”.