Montreal, Jul 17: Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion pressed Turkey to handle the aftermath of a coup attempt according to "fundamental principles of democracy."
Speaking on the television network Radio-Canada after a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Canadian diplomatic chief said it was "important to avoid collect punishment" against those who organized the aborted coup that sought to seize power from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"Democracy has been saved," Dion said yesterday, after Turkish authorities wrested back control of the country Saturday.
"We must be discerning to ensure that those on trial have the chance to prove innocence or express their point of view according to the fundamental rules of justice we must aim to respect."
Turkish authorities crushed the putsch bid by discontented soldiers in a chaotic night of violence that left at least 265 dead. With the coup defeated, Turkey rounded up 2,839 soldiers over alleged involvement, amid global alarm that the country could reestablish its death penalty, which Dion said Canadians are against "in all circumstances."
Judicial authorities said 2,745 judges would also be sacked in the wake of the coup bid. Though he praised Erdogan's swift return to control, the Canadian minister said "the use of military force was completely unacceptable." Canada has advised its citizens against travel to Turkey since Friday.