Turkey criticizes UN comments on coup attempt suspects

– Foreign Ministry spokesman says human rights official’s comments ‘unfortunate’

– The UN’s top human rights official was criticized by Turkey on Saturday for saying the country should curb its “thirst for revenge” over the July 15 attempted coup, reported Anadolu Agency.

Tanju Bilgic, a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman, rejected claims that Ankara was transgressing human rights and said comments by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, were unacceptable.

Tens of thousands of people suspected of links to the violent cult said to be behind the coup — the Fetullah Terrorist Organization — have been arrested or suspended or dismissed from their jobs.

Earlier this week, Zeid said he had no sympathy with coup plotters but added that he had received allegations of torture and mistreatment of detainees in Turkey and called for “proper procedures and guarantees of the pursuit of due process [to be] upheld in respect of all these Turkish citizens”.

In a statement, Bilgic said: “The UN high commissioner for human rights said he ‘has no sympathy’ for the coup plotters instead of condemning these terrorists who attempted a deadly coup. To put it mildly, this is an unfortunate statement for a UN official who is expected to protect universal human rights.”

Bilgic reiterated an invitation for Zeid to visit Turkey and said fundamental rights and the rule of law had been fully observed since the coup attempt, which resulted in 240 deaths and more than 2,200 injured.

“As a responsible member of the international community Turkey will sustain its comprehensive cooperation with the UN based on constructive dialogue,” he added.