Greece on standby as Turkey risks damaging democracy, EU membership and regional stability

Screen Shot 2016 07 19 at 12.24.45 PM

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 12.24.45 PM

Whilst eight Turkish nationals await their fate in Greece after applying for political asylum, Turkish President Erdogan continues to purge his country’s military and civil services from what he deems as conspirators of the military coup that took place last weekend, whilst at the same time hinting at the possibility of reinstating the death penalty.

More than 20,000 members of the police, civil service, judiciary and army have been arrested or suspended from duties since the weekend coup, raising suspicion amongst many that Erdogan might be using the military coup as an excuse to get rid of his political rivals.

"It looks at least as if something has been prepared. The lists are available, which indicates it was prepared and to be used at a certain stage. I'm very concerned. It is exactly what we feared,” said Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for Turkey’s membership.

European leaders have urged the Turkish president to respect the law and human rights in his dealing with those responsible for the military coup.

In a joint statement in Brussels with US Secretary of State John Kerry, EU Ministers condemned the military coup attempt but also warned that the reintroduction of capital punishment which Turkey abolished in 2004 would prevent Turkey from ever becoming a member of the European Union.

"The EU recalls that the unequivocal rejection of the death penalty is an essential element of the union acquis," ministers said.

Meanwhile in Greece the government is also monitoring developments in the neighbouring country with Alternate Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas, warning that recent events in Turkey could have consequences for Greece’s refugee crisis.

"Parliament must stand united, with concessions on the part of the ruling coalition and concessions on the part of the opposition so that we can face [any repercussions] promptly, because the problem may get more difficult," said Mouzalas.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.