Germany urges Turkey to respect rule of law after failed coup attempt
ANKARA - Agence France-Presse
AA photoA senior German diplomat, making the most high-profile visit to Ankara by a Berlin official since the failed July 15 coup attempt, has urged Turkey to respect international law as it deals with those responsible for the failed takeover bid.
“If this attempt had succeeded, it would have been a disaster for Turkey, Germany and the region,” German Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Markus Ederer said after seeing the damage to the Turkish parliament caused by bombs dropped by F-16 jets on the night of July 15.
He offered Berlin’s support in punishing coup plotters but stressed actions should be “within the rule of law.”
“It is essential that these criminal investigations are conducted in accordance with international norms - European Union, Council of Europe and OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] standards,” Ederer told a press briefing at the parliament building in Ankara.
Tension between Berlin and Ankara heightened last month after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was blocked by a German court from delivering a speech from Turkey to a rally in Cologne.
Relations were already strained over the German parliament’s decision in June to brand as “genocide” the World War I-era mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire.
During a huge rally on Aug. 7 in Istanbul attended by millions of people, Erdoğan warned Berlin that “terrorists” would hit Germany.
“Germany did not allow the video call. Where is the democracy? But they let those in Kandil [do it] via video,” he said, referring to the mountain stronghold of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq.
“Whatever happens, tomorrow will not be as they await it. It will hit them like a boomerang. Let them feed those terrorists; they will hit them too,” he said.
Ankara has come under attack from its Western allies who have expressed concern over the post-coup crackdown.
Over 60,000 people from the military, judiciary, civil service and education system have been dismissed, detained or put under investigation for suspected links to U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of having orchestrated the coup plot. Journalists have also been arrested.
The cleric, in self-imposed exile since 1999, denies all claims.