20:01 GMT +313 December 2019
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    Pro-Erdogan supporters wave Turkish national flags during a rally at Taksim square in Istanbul on July 18, 2016 following the military failed coup attempt of July 15

    France Fears Turkey Post-Coup Crackdown Leads to ‘Autocratic Regime’

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    The state of emergency in Turkey following a failed military coup is distancing the country from principles important to the European Union and moving it in an autocratic direction, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told guests at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

    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.

    At a recent meeting of EU foreign ministers, also attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry, everyone agreed that "we have a duty to tell certain truths," Ayrault said.

    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.


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