donald_trump.jpg
Photograph: EPA/MAX WHITTAKER / POOL

US Republican Party presidential nominee Donald Trump said he would not criticize ally Turkey for its crackdown following an attempted coup because the US needs to "fix our own mess" before lecturing other countries.

In an interview to The New York Times on Wednesday, a day before Trump is expected to formally accept his party's nomination, he also praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodgan.

"I give great credit to him for being able to turn that around," Trump said, referring to the attempted coup on Friday. "Some people say that it was staged, you know that. I don't think so."

The purge after the failed coup, which left more than 260 people dead, saw more than 50,000 civil servants fired, suspended or detained.

On Wednesday night, Turkey imposed a three-month-long state of emergency.

Asked if Erdogan was exploiting the coup attempt to get rid of his enemies, Trump did not call for restraint or for the rule of law to be observed.

"I don't think we have a right to lecture," Trump told the Times. "Look at what is happening in our country. How are we going to lecture when people are shooting policemen in cold blood?"

US President Barack Obama strongly condemned the "attempt to violently remove the democratically elected civilian government" in Turkey during a call with Erdogan.

Obama also urged "that the "investigations and prosecution of the coup's perpetrators be conducted in ways that reinforce public confidence in democratic institutions and the rule of law."

If we were elected president, Trump said in the interview that he would raise questions about the US' obligations to fellow NATO allies.

If Russia attacked the Baltic countries, for example, Trump said he would determine whether or not to assist them only after reviewing whether those countries "have fulfilled their obligations to us."

"We are going to take care of this country first, before we worry about everyone else in the world," Trump said.

The nominee has in the past suggested a diminished role for the US in NATO, saying membership costs too much.

Related stories

Latest news

US Democratic Party chooses Tom Perez to be next party chief

The US Democratic Party elected former labour secretary Tom Perez as its next party chief at a meeting in Atlanta on Saturday.

73-year-old man dies after car ramming in Germany

A 73-year-old male pedestrian died from his injuries after being run over when a car rammed into people in the south-western town of Heidelberg, police said Saturday.

Syrian government vows retribution for Homs attacks that killed 42

The Syrian government vowed retribution for synchronized attacks on Saturday in Homs City that left 42 security personnel dead and reportedly involved up to six suicide bombers.

Between 250,000 and 300,000 Croatians suffer from rare diseases

Rare Disease Day, observed on February 28, was marked in Zagreb's Cvjetni Trg Square on Saturday.

German police shoot man who rammed car into pedestrians in Heidelberg

Police in Germany shot a man who rammed a car into pedestrians in the south-western town of Heidelberg on Saturday.

Egypt's al-Sissi orders cabinet to help Christians fleeing Sinai

Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sissi ordered the government on Saturday to take all necessary measures to help Christians who escaped northern Sinai after the Islamic State militia killed at least six of them over the past month.

SDP MP calls on citizens to raise their voice against restriction of women's rights

Josko Klisovic, a Social Democrat member of the Croatian parliament, on Saturday called on all Croatians to raise their voice against a policy turnaround on women's rights after Croatia took a conservative position in a discussion on human rights in the Council of the European Union.

Egypt court acquits Mubarak's aide of 22 years

An Egyptian court on Saturday acquitted one of ousted president Hosny Mubarak's closest aides, ruling he was not guilty of corruption and illicit profits.

EU ambassador to Albania Romana Vlahutin under 24-hour police protection

EU Ambassador to Albania Romana Vlahutin and her family have been given 24-hour armed police protection due to threats she has been receiving lately, the Austrian paper Der Standard said on Saturday, explaining that the threats were linked to Vlahutin's monitoring of a reform of Albania's judiciary designed to curb corruption in that country.

Italy deports two over suspected contact with Berlin attacker

Italy has deported two Tunisian asylum seekers who have been classed as a danger to national security, the Interior Ministry in Rome said on Saturday.

Croatian PM says HEP IPO most efficient model for INA buyout

Prime Minister and HDZ leader Andrej Plenkovic on Saturday commented on models for buying back Hungarian oil and gas company MOL's stake in INA, saying that an initial public offering of 25% of the HEP power company's shares to obtain funds for INA's buyout was "the most efficient, fastest, simplest and cleanest option with the fewest participants, which enables the state, which is the owner (of HEP), to control the process in its entirety."

Iraqi forces advance in western Mosul amid fierce resistance from IS

Iraqi forces were making advances in western Mosul, entering a new neighbourhood north of the airport, amid fierce resistance from Islamic State militia, a security official said Saturday.