Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s foreign minister since 2004 (right), arrives for an EU summit in Bratislava, Slovakia, on 3 September 2016. Photo: European Council
Turkey’s response to a failed coup attempt is reminiscent of the “methods used during Nazi rule”, and European sanctions could be forthcoming, Luxembourg’s foreign minister has told a German radio station.
More than 110,000 civil servants have been arrested or sacked since the unsuccessful military coup over the summer summer, Reuters reported.
“And this is a very, very bad evolution that has come in Turkey since July, which we as the European Union simply cannot accept,” Jean Asselborn said in the radio interview on Monday.
The Turkish government has blamed Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric based in the US, of orchestrating the plot. Those dismissed and detained are accused of being Gulen sympathists.
According to Asselborn, 60% of foreign investment into Turkey comes from the EU and 50% of Turkish exports go to the EU. “At a certain moment, we won’t have any choice but to apply this pressure [of economic sanctions] to counteract the unbearable human rights situation.”
Asselborn, of the LSAP, did not receive immediate support on his stance from Berlin. A spokesman for the German chancellor Angela Merkel said it was “important to keep the channels of communication open” with Ankara, said Reuters.
Turkey’s EU minister was quoted by the news agency as stating: “The Nazis are like apprentices when compared with Gulenist terror organisations.”