Turkish lawmaker blasts PACE for not allowing coup-themed exhibit

Published 08.09.2017 23:17
Updated 08.09.2017 23:20

A decision not to allocate space for a Turkish exhibition on the July 15 coup attempt by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has drawn ire from Turkey.

Lawmaker Talip Küçükcan, who heads the Turkish delegation to PACE, said they "strongly condemn" the move.

In a written statement, Küçükcan said they applied for the photo exhibition to mark the first anniversary of the coup attempt, which killed 249 people, a long time in advance and planned to launch it at the general assembly meeting of PACE on Oct. 9-13.

"Although we had good intentions and clearly expressed that the exhibition was important for the Turkish public, the PACE administration told us there was 'a problem of space.' The administration failed to appreciate the value we attribute to this victory of democracy, which was the result of heroic resistance by the Turkish people against the bloody coup attempt by the (Gülenist Terror Group) FETÖ," Küçükcan said in the statement.

Relations between Turkey and the European Union soured in the aftermath of the coup attempt after Turkey imposed a state of emergency to fight the persistent threat of FETÖ, a secretive group with infiltrators everywhere from the army to the judiciary.

EU officials and leaders of European countries stepped up their anti-Turkey rhetoric, straining already lukewarm relations, claiming that Turkey did not respect human rights.

Since the coup attempt was quelled, Turkish leaders have repeatedly called on the international community to grasp their fight against FETÖ and other terrorist groups and lament empathy for the resistance against terrorism.

Turkey has also criticized the European Union for supporting terrorist groups instead. Last year, Turkey condemned a photo exhibition which was opened at the European Parliament in Brussels of the terrorist group PKK and its affiliates in Syria.

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