US describing head of Fetullah Terrorist Organization as "Muslim cleric and political figure" in a report means "supporting the treacherous July 15 coup attempt," a foreign ministry spokesperson says.
Turkey on Saturday said it is "hypocritical" to call the head of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), a group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, a "Muslim cleric and political figure" in a report released by the US State Department.
"This description of the head of the terrorist organisation that massacred our 251 citizens means ignoring or supporting the treacherous July 15 coup attempt," Hami Aksoy, Turkey's foreign ministry spokesman, said in a statement.
"It is a hypocritical […] approach that those who claim that they are the defenders of democracy in the world call those who attempted a blow to democracy in an allied country as innocent clergy," it added after the US' International Religious Freedom Report for 2018 that was released on Friday.
The FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people dead and nearly 2,200 wounded.
Turkey says FETO is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkey's institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.