Estonian formin discusses state of democracy in Turkey after coup attempt

Estonian Foreign Minister Marina Kaljurand, who is visiting the Turkish capital Ankara in her capacity as chairman of the 47-nation Council of Europe, at Wednesday's meeting with Turkey's leaders discussed topics concerning human rights, rule of law and democracy.

At meetings with the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdag it was discussed what Turkey has done and what it can do in cooperation with the Council of Europe to guarantee the protection of human rights, rule of law and democracy after the recent coup d'etat attempt and the three-month state of emergency that was implemented after that, spokespeople for the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Turkey's leaders introduced to Kaljurand what has happened since the coup attempt. They affirmed their unwavering commitment to democratic values as well as what is constituted in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

According to Kaljurand the Council of Europe very strongly condemned the coup attempt in Turkey, expressed support to democratically elected constitutional institutions, affirmed solidarity with the people and sent condolences to the next families of the people that died.

"The coup d'etat attempt was a shock to the Turkish people as well as Turkey's friends. We condemned the attack against democratically elected constitutional institutions in a member state of the Council of Europe," Kaljurand said. She added that it is important that Turkey's leaders do everything in their power to protect human rights, democracy and rule of law.

Kaljurand affirmed the readiness of the Council of Europe to support Turkey and offer legal expert help.

According to Kaljurand it is important that culprits behind the coup attempt would be found and tried impartially. She also stressed the need to honor and protect freedom of speech, civil society, guarantee media freedom and impartiality of the court system.

The Council of Europe followes closely the developments in Turkey, Kaljurand said. Foreign ministers of the Council of Europe are scheduled to meet in Strasbourg on Sept. 7 to discuss the situation in Turkey. The meeting would be headed by Kaljurand and also attended by Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

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