Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) meets with European Council President Donald Tusk in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 4, 2016, as part of negotiations over a refugee deal between the two sides. ©Reuters
Turkey has accused the European Union
of “encouraging” plotters of last month’s failed coup attempt as ties between Ankara and Brussels seem to be going in a downward spiral.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday that Turkish people’s confidence in the EU
has “unfortunately fallen” in the wake of the July 15 coup.
“Let me say openly, this is because the EU adopted a favorable position to the coup (and) encouraged the putschists,” Cavusoglu told reporters during a televised briefing in the capital, Ankara, without giving further details.
He claimed that support for EU membership has plummeted to some 20 percent.
People leave on August 7, 2016 in Istanbul after a rally against a failed military coup on July 15. ©AFP
Turkey-EU relations have gone into a tailspin over a host of issues, including the failed coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government.
The EU has been highly critical of Turkey’s severe crackdown on those alleged to be coup plotters or sympathizers, urging Ankara to act within the rule of law.
Meanwhile, Erdogan’s hint that Turkey may revive death penalty has also angered EU officials, who have expressed concern over human rights abuses in the country.
The simmering tension between the EU and Turkey has raised questions over Ankara’s future relationship with the bloc.
Ankara has been long seeking to join the EU. Talks over Turkey’s accession have, however, progressed slowly as several EU states have expressed doubts that the country could be ready for membership in the near future.