NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg warned Turkey on Thursday it must fully respect legal due process, as Ankara continues to make mass arrests after last July’s failed coup.
“Turkey has the right to protect itself and to prosecute those who were behind the failed coup attempt but that has to take place based on the full respect of the rule of law,” Stoltenberg said as he arrived for an EU defense ministers meeting in Valletta.
“I attach a great importance to these values myself and this is an issue we have discussed with the Turkish leadership,” he added.
Turkey on Wednesday detained more than 1,000 people and suspended over 9,000 police in a vast new crackdown against alleged supporters of Fethullah Gulen, the US-based preacher President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses of mounting the coup.
Erdogan earlier this month narrowly won a controversial referendum which gives him increased powers, sparking increased concerns in Europe over the country’s rights record.