Turkish government says it is ‘under popular pressure’ to drop EU talks

Turkish government says it is ‘under popular pressure’ to drop EU talks

Ankara, September 7, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

Turkish citizens are dismayed by the “double standards” applied by the European Union since Turkey’s coup attempt of July 15 and are now putting the government under “huge pressure” to end accession negotiations, Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu has claimed.

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 Turks had been disappointed not to receive prompt solidarity visits or statements in the aftermath of the coup attempt.

Separately, a delay in Turkey’s visa liberalization deal with the bloc until the end of the year is out of the question, a spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sept. 6, adding that “only minor issues” remain to be resolved.

İbrahim Kalın told private broadcaster NTV that he believed the remaining issues would be solved soon.

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

The deal projects Turkey’s readmission of Syrian refugees who illegally crossed to Europe in return for visa-free travel for its citizens.

However, the EU’s insistence on a change in Turkey’s anti-terror law, a part of a 72-item list for the deal, has led to estrangement in the talks.

Ankara says such a shift is not possible due to terror risks that the country has been facing, mainly posed by 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 bloody coup attempt.

Source: Hurriyet