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Turkey-EU relations in tailspin after coup attempt

Turkey’s ties with Europe have taken a turn for the worse as Turks accuse the European Union of deserting them after last month's coup attempt.
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan talks to the media before a meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (not pictured) at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 5, 2015. Erdogan mocked European Union overtures for help with its migration crisis during a long-awaited visit to Brussels on Monday that in the end was partly overshadowed by Russia's violation of Turkish airspace near Syria. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir  - RTS34D3

Turkey’s ties with Europe, already strained over a host of issues, are heading for a nosedive after the failed July 15 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Most Turks feel Europe did not stand by Turkey in its hour of need, instead adopting a wait-and-see attitude as events unfolded.

That no European leader or senior European Union official rushed to Turkey after the failed attempt — to show solidarity against an attack on its democracy — has fueled a belief among Turks that Europe is steeped in double standards when Turkey is concerned. Also reinforcing negative sentiments toward Europe are European criticism of the massive purge against suspected followers and sympathizers of Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish cleric living in the United States and alleged mastermind behind the coup attempt, and warnings that reinstating the death penalty to punish coup plotters would end Ankara’s hopes of joining the EU.

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