World Bulletin / News Desk
Speaking to reporters in Berlin, Merkel expressed regret over the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey, and said she is following recent developments in the country very closely.
“Of course, when such a coup attempt takes place in a country, it is right and important to take action against these coup plotters with all means and possibilities within the rule of law,” Merkel said.
She also urged Turkish authorities to show proportionality in pursuing the suspects behind the coup attempt.
“This principle of proportionality should be respected in all circumstances.”
Merkel dismissed calls by some opposition politicians to cut contact with the Turkish government over its crackdown on Gulenist institutions, which are suspected of taking part in an illegal campaign to overthrow the democratically elected government.
She underlined that it is important to continue contact with Turkey, which is an important partner for Germany, where 3 million ethnic Turks live.
Merkel said she had a telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan quickly after the coup attempt failed, and would like to continue her exchanges with him in the coming days and weeks.
Turkey declared a state of emergency following the coup attempt that resulted in at least 246 deaths, and more than 2,000 injuries. The attempt foiled when tens of thousands of people took to the streets to defend the government.
Turkish government has said the deadly coup attempt was organized by followers of U.S.-based preacher Fetullah Gulen.
Gulen is accused of a long-running campaign dating back to the 1980s to take control of the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary, forming what is commonly known as the parallel state.
Approximately 13,000 members of the military, police, and judiciary as well as civil servants have been arrested since the failed putsch, and tens of thousands more removed from their posts.