Turkey warned executions would end its European Union bid

Secretary of State John Kerry warned the Turkish government Monday that its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership could be jeopardized if it goes too far with its ongoing purge of thousands of military personnel, judges, and police officers accused of involvement in last weekend's failed coup attempt. We join our Turkish friends in mourning the tragic loss of life caused by attempts to violently overthrow Turkey's democratically-elected government.

Speaking in a statement issued on Monday, John Bass, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, said: "Unfortunately, some. public figures have speculated that the United States in some way supported the coup attempt".

"Being part of a unique community of values, it is essential for Turkey, like all other allies, to ensure full respect for democracy and its institutions, the constitutional order, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms", he said.

The coup plotters sent warplanes firing on key government installations and tanks rolling into major cities on Friday night.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday there could be no delay in using capital punishment after a failed coup attempt, adding the government would discuss it with opposition parties. At least 294 people were killed and more than 1,400 wounded.

"The institution of the death penalty can only mean that such a country could not be a member", Steffen Seibert, spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, said in Berlin. Beyond the detentions, one Turkish government minister even claimed USA complicity in the violence.

Austria's European Union commissioner, Johannes Hahn, said Erdogan's crackdown "is exactly what we feared".

"EU should support Turkey not Feto", he added, referring to Fethullah Gulen, an anti-Islamic preacher who lives in the United States and who was also accused of plotting Erdogan's downfall. It appears, he added, as if Turkey had "prepared" arrest lists of political opponents and was waiting for the right time to act.

Both the European Union and the USA need Turkey right now and are limited in how far they can push the criticism. Merkel's spokesman said the quashed coup hasn't affected an EU-Turkish arrangement for stopping migrants arriving by sea.

Kerry also said the United States has not received a formal request from Turkey to extradite Fethullah Gülen, a Muslim cleric living in Pennsylvania that Erdoğan has blamed for the coup. "We need to see genuine evidence that withstands the standard of scrutiny that exists in many countries' system of law with respect to the issue of extradition".

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