Brussels: EU foreign ministers warned Turkey on Monday to show restraint in its response to a failed military coup, expressing concern over retaliation against judicial officials and calls for a reintroduction of the death penalty.
"Today we will say together with the ministers that this [coup] obviously doesn't mean that the rule of law and the system of checks and balances in the country does not count," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said before their meeting in Brussels.
Punishment against the coup plotters must not include "measures that could lead to an authoritarian state," French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault noted.
"It's very important ... that we see restraint and moderation on all sides," added Britain's new foreign secretary, Boris Johnson.
The EU ministers were meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday morning to coordinate their responses.
Thousands of people have been arrested since the coup attempt on Friday night by a group within the armed forces. Arrest warrants were also issued for 250 judges and prosecutors, and 2,745 judges were dismissed from their posts over the weekend.
"This is a reaction that is not in line with rule of law," Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also said that he will consider the possibility of capital punishment for those who carried out the failed coup attempt.
"This poses a problem in the relations with the European Union," Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said.
The death penalty has not been used in Turkey since 1984 and was abolished in 2004. The EU is a lead campaigner for its abolition around the world.