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Turkey warns EU making ‘mistakes’ over failed coup

Erdogan and Turks are incensed by what they see as the undue concern of Europe over a crackdown after the abortive July 15 coup attempt

Published: Updated:

Turkey said on Wednesday the European Union was fueled by anti-Turkish sentiment and hostility to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and was making grave mistakes in its response to a failed coup which was costing it the trust of ordinary Turks.

Erdogan and many Turks have been incensed by what they see as the undue concern of Europe over a crackdown after the abortive July 15 coup attempt but indifference to the bloody events themselves in which more than 240 people died.

“Unfortunately the EU is making some serious mistakes. They have failed the test following the coup attempt ... Their issue is anti-Turkey and anti-Erdogan sentiment,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the state-run Anadolu Agency.

“We have worked very hard towards EU (membership) these past 15 years. We never begged, but we worked very hard ... Now two out of three people are saying we should stop talks with the EU.”

More than 60,000 people in the military, judiciary, civil service and education have been detained, suspended or placed under investigation since the coup attempt, in which rogue soldiers commandeered tanks and warplanes to try to take power.

Dismissals continued on Wednesday. State-run Anadolu Agency said a further 648 judges and prosecutors were suspended under the investigation, bringing to 3,489 the number of those removed from duty.

Turkey’s Scientific and Technological Research Council (Tubitak) has removed 560 staff, said private broadcaster NTV.

Thousands of people, waving Turkish flags, gathered outside the presidential palace in Ankara on Wednesday night to hear Erdogan call anew for the United States to extradite U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom he accuses of orchestrating the coup attempt. Gulen denies any involvement.

“Sooner or later the United States of America will make a choice. Either Turkey or FETO,” he told the crowd in a speech, using an abbreviation standing for the “Gulenist Terror Group” which is how Ankara refers to Gulen’s movement.

The speech was billed as the culmination of nightly rallies in cities across Turkey to show solidarity since the attempted coup.