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European Union wastes Turkey's time, Erdogan tells the BBC

15 July 2017

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke at a memorial service held at Bestepe National Congress and Culture Center in Ankara to commemorate the martyrs of last July 15's coup attempt.

"I want you to know that those you know as being members of the press are mostly people who aided and abetted terror".

"I reiterate my condemnation of the despicable putsch and its perpetrators", he said, while decrying a government "witch hunt to weed out anyone it deems disloyal" to Erdogan "and his regime". "You are doing an interview with me but don't give me the opportunity to speak", said Erdogan.

In January, secret European Union intelligence reports claimed Erdogan planned to purge opposition elements from government institutions even before the coup. "We have to acknowledge that".

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Last weekend, hundreds of thousands joined an opposition rally, marking the culmination of a "march for justice" from Ankara to Istanbul led by the leader of the main opposition party, the CHP. Eser was detained earlier this month along with seven other rights activists and two foreign trainers. The complaint also names Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and several other Turkish ministers.

Between 153 to 170 journalists are now in Turkish prisons, according to various worldwide and local watchdogs.

Members of worldwide media are being hosted in Ankara by Turkey's Directorate General of Press and Information.

While many are linked to publications that were owned and operated by the Fethullah Gulen movement in the past, the number of jailed journalists also include various pro-Kurdish writers and 12 staff from the staunchly secular Cumhuriyet newspaper.

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Erdoğan is scheduled later to depart for Ankara where he will address the parliament at 2.32 a.m., the time the parliament was bombed on the night of the coup attempt.

"A commission that is linked to a political office can not decide whether I am a journalist".

Mr. Erdogan's critics say the president didn't win fairly.

In May, Erdogan has reportedly issued a warning that no foreign captives would be released unless their respective governments met his demands to extradite his political enemies. A Swedish law passed in 2014 permits judges to review alleged crimes against humanity anywhere in the world, regardless of who committed them.

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European Union wastes Turkey's time, Erdogan tells the BBC