Ankara – A joint press conference held in Ankara on Monday between foreign ministers of France and Turkey saw bickering over the state of emergency imposed by the Turkish authorities following the failed coup attempt.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault disapproved of his Turkish counterpart’s comparison of the state of emergency in Turkey with the state of emergency in France.
“Turkey has the right to defend itself against terror. It also has the right to extend the state of emergency. But the state of emergencies in Turkey and France are not based on the same legal grounds,” Ayrault said during a joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
He went on to say that in the state of emergency practices in France, “the judiciary and the executive are separate, and the judiciary is still independent.”
In response, Cavusoglu criticized Ayrault’s remarks, stressing that the aim of both countries was the same.
“There is no difference regarding the state of emergencies in Turkey and France. Their context and objectives are the same. They both target terrorist organizations,” Cavusoglu said.
On the other hand, the Turkish foreign minister acknowledged that suspected members of the so-called Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO), believed to have been behind the coup attempt, have not yet been referred to court.
He stressed, however, that state of emergency practices in neither France nor Turkey restricted freedoms.
Meanwhile, Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag will leave for the U.S. on Tuesday to meet with his U.S. counterpart, Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Sources said that Bozdag will discuss Turkey’s official request for the provisional arrest of Fethullah Gulen.
Gulen, 77, is accused of plotting a campaign aimed at overthrowing the Turkish government through the infiltration of state institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary bodies.
He has been living in the U.S. State of Pennsylvania since 1999.