EU WARNS TURKEY OVER DEATH PENALTY AFTER COUP



Turkey has been warned if it brings back the death penalty all negotiations to join the European Union are off.
EU chief Jean Claude Juncker also said the country is in no position to become a member of the bloc “any time soon” following the attempted coup.
His comments come after Preisdent Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a crackdown detaining thousands of soldiers, police, judges, teachers and civil servants.
Amnesty International has claimed it has received “credible evidence” of detainees being beaten, tortured and raped.
Mr Juncker, the EU Commission President, said: “I believe that Turkey, in its current state, is not in a position to become a member any time soon and not even over a longer period.”
He added that a country with the death penalty had no place in the bloc.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu responded by telling Mr Juncker not to threaten Turkey or look down on the country.
Mr Cavusoglu has also demanded the US extradite Fethullah Gulen, warning ties with the NATO ally will be affected if it fails to do so. He is due to visit America to raise the issue.
The US-based Muslim cleric is accused of orchestrating the failed 15 July coup, but he has denied any involvement in the insurrection.
Mr Erdogan’s administration has detained 13,000 people since the attempted coup after declaring a three-month state of emergency.
On Monday, it was reported arrest warrants had been issued for 42 journalists, including the prominent reporter Nazli Ilicak, who has opposed the clampdown.
Amnesty International’s Europe Director John Dalhuisen has called for Turkey to let in international observers to ensure the correct treatment of those rounded up in the security crackdown.
He said: “It is absolutely imperative that the Turkish authorities halt these abhorrent practices and allow international monitors to visit all these detainees in the places they are being held.”
Turkey has been in discussions to join the EU since 2005, but its membership is controversial and has been strongly opposed by Germany.
The UK had supported Turkey’s membership, which became a contentious issue during the EU referendum.
David Cameron argued the country would not gain access to the EU “for decades” but the winning Leave camp argued it would be much sooner.
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