Germany, France, the Netherlands and Denmark have said they “vehemently” oppose the annual NATO summit being held in Turkey after a downturn in relations between the EU and Istanbul since the Turkey Government’s crackdown on the media and opposition following the failed coup July 2016.
Turkey was slated to hold the next summit, due 2018, in Istanbul, but — according to German newspaper Die Welt — Germany, France, the Netherlands and Denmark have all put pressure on other members to hold the summit elsewhere because of increasing tensions between Europe and Ankara.
“We do not want to enhance Turkey’s international credentials and we want to avoid the impression that NATO supports the Turkish government’s internal policy,” high-ranking NATO diplomats said, according to Die Welt.
Turkey has been heavily criticized for its government crackdown on opposition supporters and journalists — especially in the wake of the failed coup, July 2016, which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames on the exiled cleric, Fethullah Gulen.
Since the coup, thousands of alleged Gulen supporters — including academics, police, military and judiciary officials — have been detained. In particular, dozens of journalists — including German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel, who works for Die Welt — have also been detained.