Luxembourg admits EU 'failed to understand' Turkey's coup attempt
AP photoLuxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn has admitted Europeans failed in their response to the July 15 failed coup attempt in Turkey.
“We could not fully recognize the depth of the wound in public opinion in Turkey after the coup attempt,” Asselborn said on Sept. 21 in an interview with German daily Die Welt.
“The people who took to the streets against the coup also demonstrated for democracy. We had a little misunderstanding,” said Asselborn, adding that the EU’s insistence on the rule of law in Turkey would contribute to the country’s development.
Asselborn’s remarks came in the wake of a thaw in ties between Turkey and the EU, strained after Ankara complained about a lack of support from its European allies in the wake of the failed coup attempt.
EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, who visited Ankara earlier this month, said on Sept. 13 that the European Union and Turkey must maintain a close, open and constant dialogue to deal with common challenges.
“Despite all difficulties, both Turkey and the European Union realize there are many interests we have in common and so much we share,” Mogherini said on Sept. 13.
Asselborn was also optimistic that the dispute over the EU visa exemption for Turks could be solved.
“Apart from the [required amendments to] anti-terrorism laws, all points are currently solvable, which are a prerequisite for a visa-free entry of Turkish citizens in the EU,” he said.
“The EU will nevertheless continue to insist that the rule of law is respected. This applies not only for Turkey, but for all countries.
“But I think that the end of the year or early 2017, a solution for the anti-terrorism legislation will be possible if the situation in Turkey calmed down and Turkey is willing to follow the rules of Europe.”
Turkey has demanded the EU lay down a “concrete road map” for visa liberalization, following this proposal as an interim for the implementation of a migrant deal that includes a readmission agreement in return for visa liberalization.