Turkey tells watchdog coup trials will be 'transparent'

2016-09-07 19:40
Mevlut Cavusoglu (AP).

Mevlut Cavusoglu (AP).

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Strasbourg - Turkey's foreign minister on Wednesday pledged cooperation with the top European rights watchdog to ensure the effort to bring the leaders of July's failed coup to justice is clear and straightforward.

"We [will] cooperate with the Council of Europe to make this process very transparent," said Mevlut Cavusoglu, after meeting in Strasbourg with the group's head Thorbjorn Jagland.

Around 20 000 people have been arrested since the July 15 coup attempt and 70 000 civil servants fired as Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan purges those he says have links to Fethullah Gulen, the US-based Muslim preacher Ankara blames for the failed putsch.

Jagland warned Turkey in August that "the net must not be cast too wide" after he was one of the first senior European officials to visit following the coup attempt.

"We have never forgotten that the rule of law should prevail. Everyone should be brought to justice, even the ones who tried to assassinate the president," Cavusoglu told reporters.

"We need to re-energise the working groups between Turkey and the Council of Europe," he added. "[The European] Convention of Human Rights is a guideline for Turkey during this difficult time."

Turkey is a major European Union partner and aspiring member but it has been incensed by what it sees as a lack of support from Brussels and its criticism that the post-coup clampdown could undermine the rule of law.

"What is important now is to see that all judicial safeguards are in place and that the presumption of innocence prevails", said Jagland.

During their meeting Cavusoglu and Jagland discussed what help the council can provide on matters of respecting the rule of law.

A delegation from the Turkish justice ministry met with the council to talk about the decrees issued during the state of emergency and requirements of the European Convention on Human Rights, a treaty to protect fundamental freedoms in the continent.

Read more on:    recep tayyip erdogan  |  turkey

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