Turkish president in Moldova for 2-day visit to boost ties

October 17, 2018
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Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, centre right, and Moldova's President Igor Dodon inspect a military honour guard during a welcome ceremony in Kishinev, Moldova, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. Erdogan is in Moldova for a two-day state visit.( Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in Moldova for a two-day visit aimed at boosting political and trade ties with the former Soviet republic.

Erdogan met President Igor Dodon for talks Wednesday at the presidential building, which was reopened for the occasion. Turkey funded repairs the building required after it was ransacked in 2009 by demonstrators protesting elections they said were rigged by the then-communist government.

In a joint operation last month with the Turkish intelligence service, Moldova expelled seven Turkish teachers alleged links to exiled U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Turkey of being behind a failed coup attempt in 2016.

It is unclear what happened to the teachers after they returned to Turkey.