The head of the Council of Europe, the continent’s top human rights organization, said on Wednesday that Turkey needs to follow human rights in crackdown on coup plotters, which gained momentum after the declaration of state of emergency.
Thorbjorn Jagland, head of the Council of Europe, was the first high-ranking European official to visit Turkey in the aftermath of the attempted coup that killed more than 250, including civilians, police officers and soldiers.
Stating that Turkey is an important European country, Jagland added, “It is important that we do all that we can to help Turkey get through this process.”
“But it is also very important that this is being done in conformity with the [European] law, and standards of the European Convention of Human Rights and the case law of the court of Human Rights which is a very good guidance,” he emphasized.
A group of rebel soldiers, acting out of chain of command, attempted a military coup at around 10 p.m. on July 15. The Turkish government managed to suppress the coup attempt and launched a large-scale crackdown across the country on media, public servants, judges, prosecutors and teachers, along with rebels within the army. The detentions, arrests and massive purges that followed the crackdown widened and increased after a state of emergency was declared on July 20, concentrating power formally into the hands of the president by allowing him and his cabinet to make laws by fiat.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused the Gülen movement of being behind the coup attempt and demanded extradition of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen from the US. Thousands of public servants, judges, prosecutors and journalists were detained by the Turkish police for allegedly having links to the Gülen movement.
Meanwhile, Gülen issued a statement condemning the failed military coup attempt in Turkey, calling the allegations of his involvement “demeaning.”