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Turkey under pressure to drop its EU accession bid

7 September 2016

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu has said that the people are dismayed by the EU’s “double standards” since the coup attempt of 15th July in Turkey. He claimed that the people are now putting the government under “huge pressure” to end accession negotiations, Turkish daily ‘Hurriyet’ reports.

Çavuşoğlu accused the bloc of “dishing out criticism” but not accepting it in return.

Turkish people see the double standards. We are under huge pressure to stop the negotiation process,” he told a regional security forum in the Slovenian mountain resort of Bled, adding that the Turks had been disappointed that they had not received prompt shows of solidarity or read statements of support in the aftermath of the coup attempt.

Elsewhere a spokesman for President Erdoğan said that any delay in lifting visa requirements for Turkish citizens to enter EU countries until the year’s end was out of the question. “Only minor issues” remain to be resolved, he added.

Chief policy adviser to President Erdoğan İbrahim Kalın told private broadcaster NTV that he believed that those outstanding issues would be resolved soon.

German newspaper Welt am Sonntag had reported on 4th September that Turkey was willing to delay the introduction of the new visa rules until the end of the year from October.

The agreement is that Turkey will readmit Syrian refugees who have entered Europe illegally, in return for the scrapping of visa requirements for Turkish Citizens.

However, the EU’s insistence on a change in Turkey’s anti-terror law, one of 72 items on the list for the deal, has alienated the Turkish government.

Ankara says such a change is not possible because of the risks of terrorism that the country has been facing, mainly from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the followers of the U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen, believed to be behind the 15th July coup attempt.

Hurriyet

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