Turkish ambassador to the Philippines warned on Thursday that Turkish terrorists are now active in Mindanao using charity organizations and education institutions as fronts, The Manila Times Online reported on Friday (July 14).
Malacanang and the Department of Foreign Affairs said the military was verifying the report by Ambassador Esra Cankorur.
Cankorur claimed that the Fetullah Gulen or FETO, a secretive and sinister group, was behind the failed coup in Turkey last year which left 250 people dead and thousands hurt.
Cankorur said the FETO group had portrayed itself as a religious movement, an educational institution and a charity group. In the Philippines, it has affiliated with schools and a business chamber.
“Although they present themselves as a religious movement, they were able to launch a coup. So this is an indication of what they are capable of,” said the ambassador.
Cankorur identified several institutions in the country that are affiliated with FETO, including two schools operating in Manila. These are the Fountain International School and the Tolerance School in Zamboanga.
The group is also affiliated with the Turkish-Filipino Chamber of Commerce and the Pacific Dialogue Cultural Pillar, said the ambassador.
“This organization started as a religious cult but if turned into a terrorist organization in time,” said the ambassador.