'Essential' Turkey respects rule of law, Nato tells Erdogan

Brussels: Nato head Jens Stoltenberg on Monday said Turkey must fully respect the rule of law and democratic freedoms, just like any other alliance member, in the aftermath of a failed military coup.

"Being part of a unique community of values, it is essential for Turkey, like all other allies, to ensure full respect for democracy and its institutions, the constitutional order, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms," Stoltenberg said in a statement after speaking with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan. AP

Recep Tayyip Erdogan. AP

Earlier Monday, US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini had warned Erdogan against taking draconian measures in a crackdown on suspected coup supporters.

Kerry noted specifically that Turkey, as a Nato ally, had to live up to the values of democracy and rule of law which the US-led alliance is meant to protect and foster.

"Nato will indeed measure very carefully what is happening and my hope is that Turkey is going to move in ways which do respect what they have said to me many times is the bedrock (value) of their country," Kerry said.

"The level of vigilance and scrutiny is obviously going to be significant... hopefully we can work in a constructive way that prevents any backsliding," Kerry added.

In his statement, Stoltenberg said he welcomed the "strong support shown by the people and all political parties to democracy and to the democratically elected government."

"Turkey is a valued Nato ally with whom I stand in solidarity in this difficult time," he added.

Turkey has the second largest military in the US-led NATO alliance and plays a key role in ensuring western security across the Middle East.

Updated Date: Jul 18, 2016 22:21 PM

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