Turkey’s deputy prime minister, Bulent Arinc, has criticised the UK for taking three days to inform his country about three missing London schoolgirls who are believed to have made their way to Syria via Istanbul.
“It is a condemnable act for Britain to let three girls … come to Istanbul and then let us know three days later,” the deputy prime minister said.
"They haven't taken the necessary measures. The search is ongoing. It would be great if we can find them. But if we can't, it is not us who will be responsible, but the British."
The three teenagers are pupils at Bethnal Green Academy in east London. In December, another girl from the school travelled to Syria.
Scotland Yard has now responded to Arinc's claims and said it actually alerted the Turkish authorities a day after the teenagers went missing, The Guardian reported.
The police force reportedly said in a statement: "Once we established that the girls had travelled to Turkey, police made contact with the foreign liaison officer at the Turkish Embassy in London on Wednesday, 18 February.
"Since then we have been working closely with the Turkish authorities who are providing great assistance and support to our investigation."
Richard James is the News Director for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.
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