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Nestor, Helme worried about developments in Turkey

Nestor said that the next steps of Turkey’s approximation to the EU and as a potential future member depended on its government’s behavior after the attempted coup. Turkey needed further reform to reach some of the union’s standards, as the EU certainly wouldn’t make any exceptions in its case, told ERR’s online news.

He added that Estonia had always been a supporter of EU extension. “Turkey is a long-time ally of ours in NATO, and I still believe that bringing Turkey closer to Europe would be beneficial not only for Estonia, but for all of Europe, and for Turkey as well.”

He stressed that the attempt to topple a democratic government by force wasn’t acceptable, and that in such a situation Turkey’s lawful government needed to be supported.

“But if steps are taken in the aftermath of an attempted coup that put democracy, the rule of law, and basic rights and freedoms in danger, then neither Europe nor Estonia can view this kindly. At the moment, such a danger is clearly present in Turkey,” Nestor said.

About relations between Turkey and Russia, Nestor said that both countries had strategic interests in the Black Sea area. Both exercised great influence on the war in Syria, and with it also on the flow of refugees to Europe. For these reasons, the EU needed to keep a close watch of what happened between them.

Helme: Turkey is entirely unfit to join the European Union

Chairman of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) and presidential hopeful Mart Helme was very outspoken about his point of view of the situation.

“My opinion has always been that Turkey is entirely unfit to belong to the European Union. First of all because it isn’t a democratic regime. How they are treating their soldiers at the moment, for instance, and how they’re threatening to reintroduce the death penalty, that reminds me of the Nazi era,” Helme said to ERR’s online news.

About part of the deal with Turkey to curb the flow of refugees being visa freedom for its citizens, Helme said that he didn’t understand why this was even an option, especially as Islamic radicalism and terror were currently a problem in Europe.

“This is a country that doesn’t fit in with the European legal area, European norms, and the European understanding of human rights. Turkey doesn’t meet these parameters in any way,” Helme said.

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Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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