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British Diplomat Under Fire in Turkey After Selfie With Journalist on Trial

  • VOA News

FILE - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting of local administrators at his palace in Ankara, March 16, 2016.

FILE - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting of local administrators at his palace in Ankara, March 16, 2016.

A British diplomat in Turkey has come under fire for tweeting a selfie he took at the Istanbul trial of two journalists accused of espionage.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted by the state-run Anadolu news agency as expressing his displeasure with a photo of British Consul General Leigh Turner standing with one of the reporters.

The two journalists, Can Dundar, the editor-in-chief of the Cumhuriyet newspaper, and his coworker Erdem Gul, are accused of “trying to topple the government” after posting a video they said shows members of the Turkish intelligence agency shipping arms into Syria in 2014.

"The consul general of a certain country went to the trial of a journalist charged with espionage, to support him. Moreover he gets a picture taken cheek to cheek (with the journalist) and had it published," Anadolu agency quoted Erdogan as saying. "And he does not stop at that, on social media he says things like 'Turkey needs to decide what kind of country it will be', words that exceed their intended meaning."

The president added that Turner was in the country due to the “generosity and hospitality” of the Turkish government.

"If this person could still go on working here that's because of our generosity and hospitality. If it were another country they wouldn't let a diplomat who exhibits this kind of behavior to stay there a day more,"said Erdogan, according to Anadolu.

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