WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Speaking through an interpreter, Ayrault admitted that his concerns are not popular with Turkey’s government and that he had been told, presumably by Turkish officials, to mind his nation’s own business.
"We are going through a time when the risk is that the Turkish government might take advantage of what has happened, or what was attempted, to set up a regime that could become an autocratic regime," Ayrault said on Thursday.
Turkey has jailed about 10,000 people and fired tens of thousands of government employees, including judges, civil servants and educators since Friday’s failed military coup intended to oust the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
A state of emergency declared this week gives Turkish Erdogan the ability to enact new laws by decree, bypassing the nation’s legislature.
For years, Turkey has been negotiating with the European Union with the goal of joining the 28-nation bloc, which Ayrault characterized as an effort to help Turkey modernize.
But he said that events in recent days had distanced Turkey from the European Union.