Turkey's Erdogan condemns West for lack of support but frees people accused of insulting him

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan describes how he found out about military coupReuters

Turkey's president condemned western countries for failing to show solidarity with his country over the failed recent coup while at the same time withdrawing lawsuits against hundreds of countrymen, charged with insulting him.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected Western criticism of purges under way in Turkey's military and other state institutions which has seen tens of thousands of people detained, removed or suspended over suspected links with the coup attempt.

Those worried over the fate of coup supporters instead of Turkish democracy could not be friends of Ankara, he said. "Mind your own business", he added.

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Not "a single person" from either the European Union or the west had "come to give condolences" he said.

"Those countries or leaders who are not worried about Turkey's democracy, the lives of our people, its future - while being so worried about the fate of the putschists - cannot be our friends," he said.

However, as a gesture of goodwill, he added: "I am going to withdraw all the cases regarding the disrespectful insults made against me."

Around 2,000 people were facing such prosecutions, including the Former Miss Turkey Merve Buyuksarac who was found guilty of posting tweets insulting the Turkish leader and a man accused of comparing him to The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings character Gollum.

President Erdogan had earlier accused the head of US Central Command, General Joseph Votel, of taking the side of the coup plotters after he said he was "concerned about" the impact that the jailing of some military leaders could have Turkish-American military co-operation.

Issuing a strong denial, General Votel later said any reports that he was involved in the coup were "unfortunate and completely inaccurate".

Separately, an Istanbul court has released hundreds of enlisted conscripts under arrest as part of the investigation into the July 15 abortive coup, the state-run Anadolu news agency says.

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After taking their testimony, prosecutors working for the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's office requested the release of 758 of the 989 conscripts.

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