“Europe, stand up for Erdogan,” that is the call from Sweden’s former Prime Minister Carl Bildt.
In an article for Politico website, Bildt wrote: “Is Brussels asleep, or just ignorant?” His question comes after European countries had a muted response following the failed coup attempt in Turkey on 15 July.
“Imagine the rebellious military units had succeeded, and some sort of military-political junta had captured the instruments of state power in Turkey.”
“We would have seen major bloodshed on the streets of Ankara and Istanbul as coup forces tried to suppress opposition demonstrations. Think back to the deadly violence that erupted in Cairo in the immediate aftermath of the July 2013 coup.”
“A successful coup in Turkey would in all probability have engulfed the country in civil war. And the consequences would have been immense.”
Bildt warned that this would worsen the refugee crisis as the two million Syrian refugees being hosted by Turkey would flee along with millions of Turks, setting sail for Europe and safety.
He criticised European leaders’ condemnation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s crackdown on those suspected to have taken part in the coup attempt, especially when they remained quiet when details that a coup was taking place emerged.
Adding that Europe is losing its “moral authority” in light of its lack of action in response to the coup attempt.
“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.”
He hoped that the unity displayed by Turkish parliamentarians “will put democracy in Turkey on more secure footing.”