Monday

11th Dec 2017

MEPs fear further 'Putinisation' of Turkey

  • MEPs fear Turkish president Erdogan is using the failed coup as a cover for a 'witch-hunt' (Photo: Reuters)

"We have seen that from a coup you can get to a counter-coup," conservative German MEP Elmar Brok summed up the mood at an extraordinary meeting of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee on Tuesday (19 July) to discuss events in Turkey.

MEPs and EU neighbourhood commissioner Johannes Hahn criticised the Turkish government for the harsh crackdown launched after last Friday's failed military overthrow.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • "Even in a state of emergency, clear rules have to be respected," EU commissioner Hahn said. (Photo: European Parliament)

"I was suprised that in a few days, in a few hours you can come up with a list of thousands of prosecutors and lawyers held responsible for the coup," Brok said.

"It is an incredible administrative effort," he quipped.

Brok added that there was a danger that with the ongoing crackdown, Turkey could move further away from Europe.

More than 9,000 people have been detained since Saturday and over 10,000 civil servants have been suspended.

On Tuesday, 1,577 university deans were urged to resign, and 24,000 teachers and interior ministry employees across the country were fired.

Kari Piri, the parliament's rapporteur for Turkey, said the Ankara government has the right and obligation to bring the people involved in the coup to justice.

But the Dutch social-democrat MEP also asked for restraint from the Turkish authorities.

"The first reactions by the Turkish authorities raise the fear that the government of president Erdogan is pursuing a witch-hunt as thousands of military, police, judges and governors have been arrested or put on non-active," Piri said.

"I hope recent events will not be used to further 'Putinise' Turkey," she said, referring to Russian president Vladimir Putin's autocratic rule.

Piri recalled that there have been concerns for several years over silencing critics in Turkey and curtailing the media.

She also said it was high time that the EU's external service appoints a new ambassador to Turkey, after the previous one left last month after making critical comments about the Turkish government.

Hahn reiterated that he was concerned by the fact that Turkish authorities came up with a list of people to arrest in a matter of hours. He added that he was surprised that his earlier similar comments caused a stir.

"To come up with a list in a few hours, is something most administrations aren’t able to do," he said.

"With 20 percent of judges suspended or replaced, that will have a direct impact on judicial rulings," the Austrian commissioner said.

"Even in a state of emergency, clear rules have to be respected," he warned Ankara.

His comments were criticised by Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, who said Hahn's statements were unacceptable. He also added that no-one should prejudge the end of the judicial process.

MEPs also reiterated that introducing the death penalty in Turkey would end EU accession talks.

Jan Philipp Albrecht, a German Green MEP, said what was happening in Turkey was president Recep Tayyip Erdogan's doing, and could not be blamed on the EU.

"What is just happening is that president Erdogan is changing fundamental values and rule of law principles, and it is EU not doing that, we are not threatening anybody when we say introducing the death penalty ends the accession procedure," he said.

Watchdogs concerned by EU-US data pact

European data protection authorities tell US to improve oversight on 'Privacy Shield' scheme, otherwise they would go to the EU's highest court.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  2. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  3. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  4. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  6. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  7. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  8. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties
  9. EPSUEU Blacklist of Tax Havens Is a Sham
  10. EU2017EERole of Culture in Building Cohesive Societies in Europe
  11. ILGA EuropeCongratulations to Austria - Court Overturns Barriers to Equal Marriage
  12. Centre Maurits CoppietersCelebrating Diversity, Citizenship and the European Project With Fundació Josep Irla