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ISTANBUL, Jan 24 — The EU’s special rapporteur on Turkey called today for the country to “return to normality” now that tensions related to the failed coup of 2016 have passed.
At the end of a week-long visit in which he met officials from across the political spectrum, Nacho Sanchez Amor also said it was time to resume the long-dormant accession talks for Turkey to join the European Union.
“I think we all could comprehend in what a tense situation a country could be after a coup attempt,” he told AFP, referring to the failed overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government in July 2016.
“But I’ve always asked my interlocutors: ‘When are you coming back to the normality? When are you overcoming this tense situation, this polarised situation... considering that you finally won your battle against the plotters?”
Critics say the government used a state of emergency after the coup to crack down on its critics, going far beyond those immediately responsible for the plot.
Amor highlighted the controversial case of pro-Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas, a former presidential candidate who has been in prison on terror-related charges for more than three years.
He also mentioned Osman Kavala, the well-known businessman-philanthropist who has also been languishing in jail on charges considered “absurd” by rights groups.
“Some situations, like the Demirtas situation, the Kavala situation have to (be resolved),” Amor said.
“This is a good occasion to send some messages to Europe: ‘Ok we are overcoming the situation, we are coming back to normality’.” — AFP
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