President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara will not change its
anti-terrorism laws in order to meet EU requirements, which are
necessary in order to give the people of Turkey visa-free travel to
EU says: ‘You will change the anti-terror law for visas,’"
Erdogan said in a televised speech in Istanbul, as reported by
me, but we are going our way and you can go your."
EU had a list of 72 requirements that Ankara needs to abide by in
order to get visa-free travel for its citizens. The changing of
anti-terror legislation is one of the five remaining steps that
Turkey needs to take, as well as the protection of personal data.
aren't you changing your mindset when you allowed terrorists who put
up tents close to the EU Parliament?"
Erdogan said, in an apparent reference to tents that had been erected
by Kurdish activists near the European Union Council building in
Brussels in March, AFP reported.
Minister of European Union Affairs Volkan Bozkir was quoted by the
Daily Sabah on Thursday as saying: "It's
not possible to make any revision to the legislation and practices on
terrorism while our country continues its intense fight against
various terrorist organizations."
comments come a day after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said he was
stepping down from his position. The former PM had championed closer
links with the EU and was in favor of introducing visa-free travel
for Turks, which was a key part of a deal between Brussels and Ankara
to reduce the amount of migrants looking to enter the EU from Turkish
has yet to appoint a successor to Davutoglu, though his son-in-law,
Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, is in the running, as is Transport
Minister Binali Yildirim – both of whom are close allies of the
rights groups have accused Turkey of using its anti-terrorism laws in
order to silence critics of the president, such as journalists and
academics. Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of the Cumhuriyet newspaper,
and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul are facing life in prison after
they published information that alleged the Turkish government was
complicit in ferrying arms into Syria.
on Thursday, the Turkish government announced it would be shutting
down Today’s Zaman newspaper, which had been critical of President
Erdogan. The independent publication was seized by Ankara in early
March. The first edition under its new ownership featured the image
Ankara has defended the use of its anti-terror laws, saying they are
necessary to deal with the joint threat posed by Kurdish militants in
the restless southeast of the country, as well as the threats posed
by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists, who have
carried out a number of attacks on Turkish soil.