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PRES­I­DENT Re­cep Tayyip Er­doğan, and Ser­bian Pres­i­dent Alexan­der Vu­cic ad­dressed peo­ple yes­ter­day in Novi Pazar, where he was wel­comed by a huge crowd. Er­doğan said that a new era has be­gun for Turkey and Ser­bia con­cern­ing bi­lat­eral ties and he also thanked the Ser­bian pres­i­dent for his sup­port in Turkey’s strug­gle against the Gülenist Ter­ror Group (FETÖ) dur­ing the July 15 coup at­tempt.

PRES­I­DENT Re­cep Tayyip Er­doğan said that a new era be­tween Turkey and Ser­bia has be­gun and the two coun­tries will strengthen their ties.

Er­doğan, along with Ser­bian Pres­i­dent Alexan­der Vu­cic, ad­dressed peo­ple in Novi Pazar yes­ter­day, a prov­ince with a large Bos­niak and Turk­ish pop­u­la­tion, where he was wel­comed by a crowd of peo­ple from dif­fer­ent parts of Ser­bia.

“We are ini­ti­at­ing a new era be­tween Turkey and Ser­bia,” Er­doğan said and thanked Vu­cic for greet­ing cer­e­mony. “The syn­ergy we are wit­ness­ing here in­di­cates how much we need peace and col­lab­o­ra­tion.”

He said that peo­ple in the Balkans pay the price for the chaos there “in­cited by for­eign pow­ers,” and called on peo­ple for sol­i­dar­ity. “As much you stand to­gether and show sol­i­dar­ity, so will you be pow­er­ful, in safety and pros­per­ity.”

Er­doğan also ac­knowl­edged Vu­cic’s sup­port in the fight against the Gülenist Ter­ror Group (FETÖ) and his sup­port on the night of July 15, 2016, when small junta loyal to FETÖ, led by the U.S. based Fe­tul­lah Gülen, tried to over­throw the demo­crat­i­cally elected gov­ern­ment in a coup at­tempt. “Just like we did in Turkey, we will ex­tir­pate FETÖ from the Balkans. I have full con­fi­dence in Vu­cic on this is­sue. He was one of the lead­ers that ini­tially de­clared his sup­port for us on the night of the coup,” Er­doğan said.

On July 15, 2016, a mil­i­tary junta linked to FETÖ at­tempted to top­ple the gov­ern­ment and im­pose mar­tial law. It was thwarted by troops loyal to the gov­ern­ment along with po­lice and mil­lions of cit­i­zens march­ing in fa­vor of democ­racy. Sol­diers in­volved in the coup at­tempt killed 249 peo­ple, mostly civil­ians, and 2,000 peo­ple were in­jured.

Er­doğan also an­nounced new agree­ments be­tween the two coun­tries and pointed to the devel­op­ment of eco­nomic col­lab­o­ra­tion: “Yes­ter­day, we signed an agree­ment to im­port 5,000 tons of meat from Ser­bia. We are work­ing to re­al­ize high­way and air­way projects. We be­lieve in this. The road is civ­i­liza­tion. These roads will be done de­spite tough to­pog­ra­phy.”

Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­dogğan and Ser­bian Pres­i­dent Alek­san­dar Vu­cic ac­knowl­edge the au­di­ence dur­ing their visit at Novi Pazar on Oct. 11.

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