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Losing Turkey would be the West's own fault: Foreign minister

Mr Erdogan\'s official visit to Russia on Tuesday in order to restore friendly ties with President Vladimir Putin amounted to a pointed signal to the West.

Published: 11th August 2016 08:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th August 2016 08:27 AM   |  A+A-

Turkey's foreign minister declared on Wednesday that it would be the West's own "fault" if it "lost" Ankara, bluntly accusing the European Union of "encouraging" the failed coup.

Mevlut Cavusoglu said the EU had "failed a test" by its response to the army's bid to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 15. Although Turkey has a longstanding application to join the EU, relations between Ankara and Brussels have reached their lowest level since Mr Erdogan came to power in 2002.

Mr Erdogan's official visit to Russia on Tuesday in order to restore friendly ties with President Vladimir Putin amounted to a pointed signal to the West.

Mr Cavusoglu reinforced the message, telling journalists that confidence in the EU among the Turkish public had "unfortunately fallen" since the coup. The EU had "failed a test" by supposedly being slow to condemn the bid to overthrow the president and failing to send a representative to Ankara since the bloodshed.

"Let me say openly, this is because the EU adopted a favourable position to the coup (and) encouraged the putschists," said Mr Cavusoglu. He said that public support for joining the EU had fallen to 20 per cent.

Mr Erdogan's response to the attempted coup has placed his relations with the West under further strain. Tens of thousands of people have been sacked or imprisoned during a sweeping purge of the armed forces, judiciary and civil service.

One Turkish admiral, who happened to be on a Nato posting in the United States at the time of the putsch, has applied for asylum. Rear Admiral Ugurlu is believed to be trying to stay in the US rather than go home, where about 40 per cent of all Turkish generals and admirals have been arrested.



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