Turkish generals nabbed in Dubai
Two Turkish generals, detained in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) while away from their posts in Afghanistan, have now been returned to Turkey.
The generals, detained by Emirati authorities in connection with Turkey’s abortive coup, have been identified as Major General Cahit Bakir, who commanded Turkish forces under NATO command in Afghanistan, and Brigadier General Sener Topuc, responsible for education and aid there.
The arrests are widely believed to be linked to Turkey’s sweeping crackdown against people deemed involved in the July 25 putsch.
The botched coup began when a faction of the Turkish military declared that it was in control of the country and that the government was no more in charge. Tanks, helicopters, and soldiers then clashed with police and people on the streets of the capital, Ankara, and Istanbul.
A total of 290 people were killed in the attempted coup d’état, which was harshly suppressed. More than 13,000 people have been detained ever since.
Also on Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his government’s intention to reintroduce the death penalty, which the country annulled in 2004 as part of a raft of measures to qualify for joining the European Union (EU).
Europe ‘not honest’ with Turkey
Erdogan, who was being interviewed by German public broadcaster ARD, also accused European states of lax commitment to their arrangements with Turkey.
He was talking about an EU-Turkey deal sealed in March under which Ankara agreed to take back all the asylum seekers and refugees reaching Europe via Turkey in return for financial aid, visa liberalization and the acceleration of Turkey’s EU membership negotiations.
“The [European] governments are not honest,” Erdogan said, adding that the EU had promised USD three billion (EUR 2.7 billion) under the deal but so far only paid a nominal USD one to two million.
“Three million Syrians, or people from Iraq, are now in Turkey,” he said. “The EU has not kept its promises on the matter.”