Turkey: EU should help us fight against terrorism

Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister on Tuesday urged the European Union to help Turkey in its fight against terrorism.

“The EU should take action and support Turkey’s fight against FETO and PKK terror groups, instead of only releasing rhetorical statements,” Omer Celik said after separate meetings with European Parliament President Martin Schulz and the EU’s Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini.

There have been many “systematical remarks” that Turkey “would never be able to get EU membership.” Celik said.

Turkey has made many reforms within the scope of EU standards. We cannot accept those remarks,” according to Celik who said the relationship between Turkey and the EU “should be strengthened” considering recent events in Syria, Iraq, the Brexit and U.S. elections.

He commented on a meeting Tuesday in Brussels, in which a fugitive HDP deputy met with EU Commisioner Johanes Hahn.

“It is not acceptable for Hahn to meet a person for whom an arrest warrant was issued in Turkey. That means the EU wants to deteriorate its relations with Turkey,” he said.

Faysal Sariyildiz, is one of 15 HDP deputies for whom arrest warrants on terror-related charges were issued earlier this month.

“They [EU] advise us to keep our dialogue channels open,” he said. “Our dialogue channels are always open. We call the situations as they are and say it to our friends’ face,” Celik said, adding that that although Turkey is doing what is required, as per EU, there has been “no progression in getting concrete results” toward membership to the bloc.

Celik’s remarks follow a EU report released last week on Turkey’s progress for joining the EU that was dominated by circumstances surrounding the recent coup attempt.

The annual assessment noted the bid to overthrow the government “represented a direct attack on democracy in Turkey” and said the EU had “strongly and immediately” condemned the attempt by sections of the military to seize power.

The report said, however, the “scale and collective nature” of measures since taken by the government led to EU calls for Turkey to “observe the highest standards in respecting the rule of law and fundamental rights”.

The EU noted the suspensions and arrests of local elected officials in the southeast under emergency powers introduced after the coup attempt and said the conflict there could be solved only by political means.

Source: aa.com.tr

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