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EU urges Turkey to respect rule of law, civilian control over military

EU urges Turkey to respect rule of law, civilian control over military

The European Union on Wednesday warned the Turkish military to stay out of a political crisis over the election of the EU candidate country's president.
EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said Turkey must abide by the rule of law and civilian control over the military. He warned that if Ankara wanted to keep its goal of joining the EU "it needs to respect these principles."
Last week, Turkey's pro-secular military threatened to intervene in a dispute over the Islamic-rooted ruling party's candidate for president.
Rehn said the ruling of Turkey's Constitutional Court _ to invalidate a parliamentary vote on the presidential candidacy of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul because a quorum was not present _ "should now be respected by all parties."
"The respect of state institutions is essential to ensure political stability," Rehn said in a statement.
He added that the European Commission expects parliamentary and presidential elections "will be carried out democratically without undue interference and in an atmosphere of responsible debate and political stability."
Turkey's Islamic-rooted ruling party called on Wednesday for early general elections amid the furor over Gul, a gamble that could either cement its majority in Parliament or boost secularists who suspect the government is plotting to push Muslim values on the nation.
Strong secularist opposition to Gul running for president has resulted in political gridlock.
The EU has pushed Ankara, which started entry talks to join the bloc two years ago, to strengthen democratic rights if it wants to join the bloc one day.


Updated : 2021-05-14 22:10 GMT+08:00