Merkel: Erdogan response to attempted overthrow ‘raises profound and worrisome questions’

by WorldTribune Staff, July 18, 2016

Germany slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s response to a failed coup attempt, criticizing what it called “revolting scenes of caprice and revenge.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters on July 18 that Berlin had grave questions about Erdogan’s response, which included consideration of a return of the death penalty.

Civilians beat a Turkish soldier who participated in the attempted coup. /AP
Civilians beat a Turkish soldier who participated in the attempted coup. /AP

Seibert said such a move “would mean the end of EU membership talks.”

“Germany and the EU have a clear stance: we categorically oppose the death penalty. A country with the death penalty cannot be a member of the EU,” he said.

Germany has the largest ethnic Turkish community outside Turkey with some three million members.

In the wake of the coup, Erdogan supporters called for capital punishment to be restored.

“In democracies, decisions are made based on what the people say. I think our government will speak with the opposition and come to a decision,” Erdogan said on July 17.

Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004 under reforms aimed at obtaining European Union membership.

Seibert said the Erdogan regime’s response “raises profound and worrisome questions when on the day after the coup attempt, 2,500 judges are removed from their posts,” he said.

“In the first hours after the failed coup, we witnessed revolting scenes of caprice and revenge against soldiers on the streets. That cannot be accepted.”

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