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EU Slams ‘Unacceptable’ Purges in Turkey Following Coup | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkish Supporters are silhouetted against a screan showing President Tayyip Erdogan during a pro-government demonstration in Ankara, Turkey, July 17, 2016. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Brussels-The European Union has been watching with concern the developments in Turkey, especially after the declared state of emergency following an attempted coup last week.

EU has called on Ankara to respect under any circumstances the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right of all individuals concerned to a fair trial,” foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn said in a joint statement.

They slammed as “unacceptable” the sacking or suspension of tens of thousands of people in the education system, judiciary and the media.

The Turkish government would also suspend the implementation of a key European rights convention under the state of emergency.

Mogherini and Hahn said in their statement, “This declaration comes in the wake of the recent unacceptable decisions on the education system, judiciary and the media,” referring to mass dismissals and arrests of people in the mentioned institutions in Turkey following the coup.

Following the failed coup, Turkish authorities have taken into custody over 10,000 suspects and sacked nearly 50,000 alleged sympathizers in state offices.

Erdogan announced the state of emergency — Turkey’s first since 2002 — following a lengthy meeting with his national security team on Wednesday. The Turkish government started implementing a three-month state of emergency on the same day.

He said the emergency measures would allow the country to be cleared of “terrorists” allegedly linked to US-based opposition figure Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan says is behind the failed coup.

Gulen, however, has dismissed the accusation as “ridiculous,” denying any involvement in the putsch.

The declaration of State of Emergency gives the executive far reaching powers to govern by decree, the EU statement said. Under the terms of the Turkish Constitution, core fundamental rights shall be inviolable even in the State of Emergency.

President Erdogan stated that the measure will in no way affect democracy, the rule of law or fundamental freedoms. The EU hoped that will keep his, and that the authorities will act with restraint, as outlined clearly by the European Union in the Council conclusions on 18 July. Any temporary suspension of the European Convention of Human Rights needs to follow the rules foreseen for such a derogation.

The EU confirmed that it will continue to monitor the situation very closely, including the practical implications of the State of Emergency. “We expect the parliament and all forces represented in the democratic institutions of the country to play their constitutional role at full,” the statement added.