Ilves: Turkey needs to find democratic solutions that correspond to the rule of law
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said on Monday that Turkey needed to find solutions for the integration with the European Union that are democratic and respected the principle of the rule of law.
Ilves said that Turkey now needed to find solutions to guarantee stability in the long term that corresponded with the principles both of a democratic state and the rule of law. This was the only way to reach the full potential of its relationship with the European Union, the president added.
It was tragic that so many had lost their lives in the attempted coup, the president said, adding that there was no justification for a military attempt to topple the government.
According to Ilves, the relations between Turkey and Estonia were good. “We are closely connected. Turkey is important as an ally in NATO as well as a trade partner. The close cooperation and dialogue between the European Union and Turkey has lasted for decades,” the president said.
He pointed out that Turkey had signed the 1963 Ankara Agreement, which created the basis for close and varied cooperation, resulting in the customs union of 1996 as well as Turkey’s becoming an EU membership candidate in 1999.
Ilves stressed that this couldn’t be undone in a single night. Cooperation with Turkey had become even more important in the course of the refugee crisis, and was getting ready for visa freedom for its citizens travelling in the EU.
But all this didn’t mean that he wasn’t worried, the president said, pointing to the most recent developments in Turkey, where several thousand judges were fired, and some 8,000 arrested in the aftermath of the attempted coup.