EurActiv.com

EU news and policy debates across languages

05/12/2016

Turkey, EU agree to ease tensions after failed coup

Enlargement

Turkey, EU agree to ease tensions after failed coup

Mevluet Cavusoglu: "We must work together because there are problems that emerge that affect all our people. If there is a problem, we must mutually solve it." [European Commission]

Turkey and the European Union on Friday (9 September) agreed to douse tensions that had darkened Ankara’s prospects for joining the bloc in the wake of the failed 15 July coup.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn — making the highest-level EU visit to Turkey since the coup — said that new chapters in Ankara’s long-running accession process should be opened and visa liberalisation was still on the table.

Several Turkish and EU officials had engaged in a war of words after the attempted putsch, with Brussels slamming the crackdown that followed the putsch attempt and Ankara unhappy with an apparent lack of solidarity from the bloc.

“The key element which we agreed to was that we talk more to each other and a little bit less about each other, showing full respect,” Mogherini said after talks with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and EU Minister Omer Celik.

Mogherini on Turkey: 'No country can become an EU member state if it introduces the death penalty'

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini stressed on Monday (18 July) that “no country can become an EU member state if it introduces the death penalty”, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday that the country should reintroduce capital punishment after last week’s attempted coup.

EurActiv.com

Mogherini unequivocally condemned the coup aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying: “There is no space whatsoever… for any attempt at a coup.”

She said the sides had an “in depth discussion” in ensuring the rule of law was protected, following criticism of the crackdown that has seen tens of thousands arrested or dismissed over alleged links to the putsch.

She said the main outcome of the meeting was “a strong recommitment to dialogue and common work on all strands of our cooperation.”

Cavusoglu added: “We must work together because there are problems that emerge that affect all our people. If there is a problem, we must mutually solve it.”

Hahn acknowledged there had been “many irritations” on both sides following the coup, emphasising that Turkey had to behave in a manner befitting of a candidate member.

“Turkey was, is and will be a candidate country. And as a candidate country we have to apply higher standards.”

Rebecca Harms: 'Possibility of Turkey sanctions has to be considered'

The leader of the Green-European Free Alliance group spoke to EurActiv’s partner Der Tagesspiegel about the EU’s refugee deal with Turkey and its current chances of EU membership in the aftermath of the attempted coup.

EurActiv.com

Hahn emphasised that visa liberalisation for Turks travelling to the EU — which Ankara wants completed this year — was still on the agenda.

He said chapters 23 and 24 of the accession process — covering justice and rights and freedom and security — should be opened as soon as possible.

Celik said that Ankara was ready to open all 35 chapters of the EU accession process. Just 16 chapters have been opened so far.

“Turkey is a European country, a European democracy. Europe’s future is our future,” he said.