Writing in Politico, co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations and former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt asks: Where is the European response to the coup attempt in Turkey? Europe’s inertia in the face of a violent uprising against the Turkish government risks eroding the continent’s moral standing:
Is Brussels asleep, or just ignorant? That’s the question being asked after European leaders responded tepidly to the attempted military coup in Turkey on July 15.
The EU has never witnessed a serious military coup attempt in any of its member or accession countries. In Hungary and elsewhere, challenges to our concept of the rule of law fade in comparison to a fully-fledged attempted coup that occupied TV stations, bombed the parliament and tried to capture the elected President of the country.
The threat was averted, but at the cost of at least 265 lives and 1,100 wounded. Turkey’s political parties were quick to come together to condemn the coup. We can hope that this unique show of solidarity will put democracy in Turkey on more secure footing.
The EU would be in a far better position today if EU leaders had gone to Turkey immediately to express their horror at the coup, congratulate the people of Turkey for defeating it and sit down with the President, the government, the leaders in the Grand National Assembly and others to discuss how to collectively ensure a democratic and European path for Turkey.
Now President Putin may be the first leader to meet with Erdoğan after the coup. If that happens, it will be a disgrace for Europe.