Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius was the first government official from an EU and NATO country to visit Turkey after a failed coup in July. Many Western countries have criticized the Turkish government for measures it took against alleged supporters of the coup, but Linkevičius says one needs to engage with Ankara in language other than lecturing.
Linas Linkevičius
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted after Linkevičius' visit that Lithuania was "a true friend" of Turkey.

"I think that [Turkey] has more friends, but friends are also there to talk to one another. If something happens, this is not a country that lives in isolation. It is an EU candidate, member of the EU customs union, one of the most important NATO allies in the southern wing with an army of half a million. It is a country we need to talk to and not just talk to, but to know how to talk so that we hear one another," Linkevičius told LRT after the visit this week.

"For a month now, there have been messages on the media, mostly critical, since everyone struggles to make sense of the massive detentions and arrests. For them [Turkey], it is difficult to react, they want that they be spoken to directly," according to the Lithuanian minister.

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