16:34 GMT +314 December 2019
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    US Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti U.S. Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti

    US European Command Chief Says Turkey Drifting Toward Authoritarianism

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    The head of US European Command, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, told Congress on Tuesday that he sees Turkey drifting toward authoritarianism.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Scaparrotti explained that Turkey remains a good ally to the United States, and the two nations are working together to counter terrorism and boost the US-led coalition efforts in Syria.

    "To be frank, there is some concern given some of the drift toward authoritarianism," Scaparrotti told the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee.

    "That’s going well, but I do have concerns," he added.

    Voters in Turkey will decide next month whether to approve a proposal to give President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers as president.

    Since thwarting a coup attempt last July, Turkey has arrested thousands of people, including military officers, high-ranking civil servants, teachers and journalists.

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled to meet Erdogan later this week in Ankara.


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