Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan in Ankara

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During his 3-day visit to Turkey, Minister for Europe Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan KCMG MP reiterated the UK’s support for Turkish democracy, 1 year after the attempted coup. Transcript of his remarks to media along with Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Ömer ÇELİK is below:

“Well Minister Omer, if I may, My good friend Omer Celik. Thank you very much indeed for your warm welcome and I’m delighted to be back here, as you say, for the fifth time since the coup attempt. I hope that illustrates not only my personal commitment to Turkey but also that of the entire United Kingdom government.

The world is a difficult and dangerous place and I think that the friendship between the United Kingdom and Turkey is an essential relationship in that difficult world. And we work together as friends and we speak to each other as friends, sometimes directly on issues that matter, some difficult issues. But always on the basis of trust.

I went just now to the Parliament building, which I went to straight from the airport when I visited just a couple of days after the coup attempt last year. And on that occasion a year ago I saw the bombed out bits of the Parliament building and I went back just now to the very same place in order once again to reaffirm the United Kingdom’s understanding of what you went through during the coup attempt and indeed the steps that need to be taken following the coup attempt to restore civility, order and secure a government in the country.

We of course are clear in our view that we want to see proportionate and sensible responses to the challenges you faced within the context of a properly working judicial and democratic system. And that is what we have said from the start and will of course continue to say.”

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