Western allies urge Turkey to maintain rule of law after failed coup

Western allies urge Turkey to maintain rule of law after failed coup

Western allies urge Turkey to maintain rule of law after failed coup

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in Brussels July 18 that the July 15 attempted putsch was “no excuse” for excessive action. 

“We will certainly support bringing the perpetrators of the coup to justice but we also caution against a reach that goes well beyond that,” Kerry told a press conference with Mogherini, according to Reuters.

Kerry said that the U.S. stood “squarely on the side of the elected leadership in Turkey” but also “firmly urge the government of Turkey to maintain calm and stability throughout the country.”  

“We also urge the government of Turkey to uphold the highest standards of respect for the nation’s democratic institutions and the rule of law,” he added. 

Mogherini also emphasized the need for calm and said Turkey as an EU aspirant must uphold democracy and human rights as it pursues the military officers and anyone else involved in the plot.

“This is no excuse to take the country away from fundamental rights and the rule of law, and we will be extremely vigilant on that,” Mogherini was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. 

The German government’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said on July 18 that German and EU officials would emphasize the need to maintain the rule of law in all their conversations with Turkey.

“Everyone understands that the Turkish government and the Turkish justice system must bring those responsible for the coup to justice, but they must maintain the rule of law, and that always means maintaining proportionality ... and transparency,” Seibert was quoted as saying by Reuters. 

“In that context, we need to say clearly: It raises profound and worrisome questions when on the day after the coup attempt, 2,500 judges are removed from their posts,” he added.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke to his Turkish counterpart early on July 17, but Chancellor Angela Merkel has not spoken to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since the attempted coup, Seibert said.

He also denounced “revolting scenes of caprice and revenge against soldiers on the streets” after disturbing pictures emerged of the treatment of some detained suspects.

The EU commissioner dealing with Turkey’s long-stalled bid for membership of the bloc said it appeared that the government had already prepared a list before the coup of people to be rounded up.

“I mean, [that] the lists are available already after the event indicates that this was prepared and at a certain moment should be used,” EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn told reporters.