Turkey rejects EU Commissioner's claim that it prepared arrest lists before coup

Ankara: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has strongly rejected claims that Turkey's government had prepared arrest lists before Friday’s failed coup attempt, Anadolu Agency reported on Monday. Speaking in Brussels on Monday, European Union's Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn was quoted as saying: "It looks at least as if something has been prepared. The lists are available, which indicates it was prepared and to be used at a certain stage." He was speaking after the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15 which claimed more than 200 lives and injured thousands. More than 6,000 suspects have been arrested in connection with the plot, including military figures and judges. Cavusoglu later tweeted that Hahn "is far from thoroughly comprehending what is going on in Turkey". He added that Turkey’s "primary expectation" from its European allies was their "support [for] the democratic process in Turkey and strong condemnation of the coup attempt". "Turkey will never compromise on human rights, the rule of law and democracy," Cavusoglu said, adding: "Therefore, no one, including Mr Hahn, can prejudge the ongoing legal process regarding the bloody coup attempt in Turkey." Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic also strongly rejected the claims, describing them as "prejudiced". “We strongly condemn and reject implications that arbitrary treatment could be performed against political opponents and violations of the rule of law […] about a terror organisation which fired on our citizens, attacked the Turkish parliament and other state institutions with the Turkish people's tanks, airplanes and other heavy weapons,” Anadolu Agency quoted Bilgic as saying. The coup-plotters are accused of having links to US-based Fetullah Gulen, who is said to have pursued a long-running campaign against the government through supporters within the Turkish state. A total of 8,777 personnel were dismissed from their duties, including 30 governors, 52 civil inspectors and 16 legal advisers, Turkey’s interior ministry has said.