Bert Koenders (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons) - Credit: Bert Koenders (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)
Monday, July 18, 2016 - 10:15
Dutch Foreign Min. calls for calm in Turkey
"Stability and a constitutional state are now of incredible importance in Turkey, for the Turks themselves and for Europe", Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs said in Brussels on Monday. According to him, it is also very important that an "ax-day" does not follow the attempted military coup in the country last week, the Volkskrant reports. Koenders is in Brussels to discuss the situation in Turkey with his EU counterparts as well as US Secretary John Kerry. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is demanding that his rival Fethullah Gulen be extradited from the United States, where he is living in voluntary exile. Erdogan believes that Gulen was behind the failed coup. "Everyone is relieved that the coup was defeated, or, at least, that it is over", Koenders said before the meeting, for which he cut a visit to South America short. "Now the unity of the country must be restored." According to the Volkskrant, the European Union countries are concerned that Erdogan will use this failed coup to consolidate his power. EU foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini stated that the EU has a clear message for Erdogan. "The democratic institutions had to be protected in that tragic night. But that does not mean that the rule of law no longer applies. On the contrary, there must be proper institutional balance."