Turkish PM Yildirim: Turkey 'wants empathy' not criticism

Speaking on Tuesday in Ankara the Prime Minister of Turkey told BBC Hardtalk that the country deserves empathy rather than criticism.

"Turkey is in a difficult region," he told the BBC's Zeinab Badawi, "We’re trying to help millions who escaped from Syria, from Iraq.

"We fight against Daesh, PKK, Fethullah Gulen terrorist group. So in a difficult region we are trying to instil peace around the world, to make our democracy stand, and ensure the security of Europe."

Europe and other countries should be thankful, Mr Yildirim explained, but instead "they cruelly create a picture, as if we carried out the coup, or the perpetrators had nothing to do with it."

Last July 249 people died and more than 1,400 were wounded as a result of an attempted coup in Turkey.

Tens of thousands of people have since been detained including police and members of the military.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen of instigating the failed coup against him - a charge the cleric denies.

The Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly has angered Turkey by placing the country under review on Tuesday and calling for urgent measures to restore freedom of expression and the press.

President Erdogan, in an interview with Reuters, accused the EU of "closing its doors on Turkey".

"In Europe, things have become very serious in terms of the extent of Islamophobia," he suggested.

Watch the full interview on BBC World News and the BBC News Channel on Friday 28 April or watch again on BBC iPlayer (UK only)

BBC News