Despite criticism from the president, Lithuanian diplomats in Turkey must be commended for their work and dedication during the attempted coup in the country, says Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius.

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Linas Linkevičius
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

"The criticism is justified, but I would like to thank all the diplomats who spent a sleepless night and stayed in their posts despite danger, shootings and explosions around the embassy," Linkevičius is quoted by BNS.

Two people were working at the Lithuanian embassy in Turkey, helped by the staff of the Foreign Ministry in Vilnius, on the night to July 16 when Turkey's military staged a coup in Ankara and Istanbul, according to Linkevičius.

President Dalia Grybauskaitė said on Wednesday that Lithuania's diplomats should be more responsive to citizens' enquiries and mentioned as an example that many could not reach Lithuania's consular offices in Turkey during the events last weekend.

Linkevičius says that the embassy staff were working all night and the following day and could not take some of the calls because of network disruptions.

Over 2,000 Lithuanian nationals were in Turkey at the time, but most were vacationing in the country's resorts far from Ankara and Istanbul where the unrest happened. At least 290 people were killed during the coup attempt.

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