NATO chief gives full support to Turkish gov’t
ANKARA / BRUSSELSNATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed full support for the Turkish government during a telephone call with President Tayyip Erdoğan on July 18, saying there could be no room for military coups in a NATO member state, Reuters reported, citing a senior Turkish official.
The official said German Chancellor Angela Merkel had also spoken by phone with Erdoğan on July 18 and had denounced the coup attempt as unacceptable.
Merkel reportedly told Erdoğan on the phone that Ankara must stick to the rule of law in response to the failed coup and that recent wave of arrests and dismissals in Turkey after the coup attempt is a cause for great concern, the German government’s spokesperson has said.
She also told Erdoğan that reintroducing the death penalty is “in no way compatible” with the goal of EU membership and that Germany “vehemently” opposes the reinstatement of it.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said NATO will be scrutinizing Turkey in the coming days to ensure that it fulfills the alliance’s requirement that members adhere to democratic governance, the Washington Post reported on July 18.
“NATO also has a requirement with respect to democracy,” Kerry said after a meeting on E.U.-U.S. relations on July 18.
Kerry said Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has repeatedly assured him that the government will respect democracy and the law, and he warned that NATO will “measure” Turkey’s actions.
“Obviously, a lot of people have been arrested and arrested very quickly,” Kerry said. “The level of vigilance and scrutiny is obviously going to be significant in the days ahead. Hopefully we can work in a constructive way that prevents a backsliding.”