Erdogan: Turkey has other plans if European Union membership fails

Kristopher Drake
July 15, 2017

Turkey insists the post-coup crackdown is necessary to tackle the threat they say is posed by the Gulen movement, but activists and Western governments have criticised it as excessive.

Erdogan said he is in favor of extending the state of emergency in the country. "These are issues to discussed and decided at the National Security Council (MGK)", he stressed. Under the state of emergency, over 50,000 people have been arrested and 150,000 were suspended from the public administration in Turkey over links with the network under imam-in-exile Fethullah Gulen, allegedly behind the coup attempt.

As a result of the large-scale operations held by the Turkish Armed Forces and the police, the coup attempt was prevented on July 16. Even recently they did it during the [justice] march. The three-week protest walk from Ankara to Istanbul demanding democratic reforms attracted increasingly large crowds, culminating in a massive street protest last weekend in Istanbul that drew a crowd estimated at over 1 million.

He said he had clearly told French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel: "No offence, but we will not pass it in our parliament as long as the promises made to us are not delivered".

In the 12 months since then, a state of emergency had been in place across the country. "It may also have changed the wider political culture in Turkey".

Jul 15 has been declared an annual national holiday of "democracy and unity" and the authorities want people to see the foiling of the putsch as a historic victory of Turkish democracy. You have more freedom than me. It is one of the many works to keep the memory of the martyrs alive.

Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania, has repeatedly denied his involvement and Erdogan has been accused of exploiting the coup to get rid of Gulenists and other opponents.

"It didn't become better; it became worse", said 54-year-old Mehmet from the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, who asked that his last name be withheld out of fear of being prosecuted for criticizing the government.

Erdogan is granting interviews to selected foreign media as part of the commemorative events marking the quashing of the coup attempt.

Mr Erdogan said the majority of Turks did not "want the European Union anymore" and believed its approach to Turkey was "insincere".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

Discuss This Article