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Turkish minister chides allies for not visiting after coup
July 23, 2016 / 3:17 PM / a year ago

Turkish minister chides allies for not visiting after coup

ANKARA (Reuters) - A Turkish minister chided the country’s Western allies on Saturday for not sending any representatives to demonstrate their solidarity with Turks following last weekend’s failed military coup.

People walk past by the Ataturk Cultural Center which is covered with a huge banner at Taksim square in Istanbul, Turkey, July 22, 2016. The slogan on the banner reads that: "Sovereignty belongs to the nation". REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Western leaders have pledged support for Turkish democracy since the July 15 coup attempt but have also expressed concern over the scale of purges against supporters of the coup and of the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Ankara says was behind it.

“We are very surprised that our allies have not come to Turkey to visit even after one week has passed,” Omur Celik, the minister for European Union affairs, told reporters in Ankara.

Celik added that NATO needed to collaborate with Turkey, a reference in part to the struggle against Islamic State militants in Turkey’s southern neighbours Syria and Iraq.

Turkey has the second biggest armed forces in NATO and is also negotiating to join the European Union.

Reporting by Ercan Gurses; Writing by Gareth Jones; Editing by Michael Georgy

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