Erdogan tells West 'mind your own business' over crackdown criticism

Jul 31, 2016, 00:42

Turkey has released more than 750 soldiers detained after an abortive coup, state media reported on Saturday, while President Tayyip Erdogan said he would drop lawsuits against people who had insulted him, in a one-time gesture of "unity".

Speaking at the same event to remember the "martyrs" of July 15, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkey has succeeded in eradicating all elements linked to Gulen from the military after sacking almost half of its generals following the failed coup.

But he also stepped up his attacks on nations criticising his crackdown in the wake of the coup attempt, telling them to "mind your own business".

Turkey's president has blasted remarks by top United States general Joseph Votel in the wake of the failed coup, accusing him of being "on the side of the plotters".

U.S. national intelligence director, James Clapper, had also said on Thursday that Turkey's crackdown was disrupting Turkish-American military co-operation in fighting IS.

Erdogan also said, "Even during the coup attempt process, we have not made the slightest compromise with the law".

The Director of US National Intelligence, James Clapper, said the purges were hampering the fight against Isis by sweeping away Turkish officers who had worked closely with worldwide partners.

"Any country and any leader who does not worry about the life of Turkish people and our democracy as much as they worry about the fate of coupists are not our friends", said Erdogan, who narrowly escaped capture and perhaps death on the night of the coup. Mind your own business! Gulen has denied involvement. Critics accuse Erdogan of intolerance and say he is using the law to stifle dissent.

In a speech at his presidential palace late on Friday remembering those killed during the failed coup, Erdogan angrily denounced the criticism and accused the West of deserting Turkey in its hour of need.

"I take this opportunity to withdraw all the lawsuits, for this once, against those who showed disrespect to me and insulted me in every way", Erdogan confirmed.

"Turkey has been an extraordinary and vital partner in the region for many years".

Over 66,000 public sector workers have been dismissed from their posts in the wake of the failed coup and over 50,000 passports have been cancelled.

Late on Thursday Turkey announced a shake-up of its armed forces, NATO's second-largest, with the promotion of 99 colonels to the rank of general or admiral and the dishonourable discharge of almost 1,700 military personnel over their alleged roles in the coup.

It has also attempted to shut down news outlets.

He said the attitude of many countries and their officials over the coup attempt in Turkey is shameful in the name of democracy.

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