Europe is ‘humiliating’ Ankara, says Turkish FM
AA photoTurkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu accused the European Union of “humiliating” Ankara, and reiterated his government’s demand for visa-free travel in exchange for stemming the migrant flow, in an interview with a German daily.
“The Turkish people are traumatized” by the failed coup attempt of July 15, Çavuşoğlu told Bild newspaper, in remarks that were published on Aug. 15.
“Rather than helping Turkey, [European nations] are humiliating us,” Çavuşoğlu was quoted as telling Bild by Agence France-Presse.
EU-Turkish relations have soured since the coup attempt against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish government, with Europe concerned by Ankara’s subsequent crackdown.
Turkey has rejected EU criticism that the crackdown might violate rights norms Ankara must meet under the agreement in return for visa-free travel and accelerated negotiations for bloc membership.
According to Çavuşoğlu, Turkey has made intense efforts, “like few other nations, to fulfil the conditions of accession to the EU.”
In return, Turkey has received “only threats, insults and a total blockage” from the 28-nation union.
“I ask myself, what crime have we committed? Why this hostility?” said Çavuşoğlu.
He again raised Turkey’s demand for visa-free travel for its citizens in the EU, in return for upholding a controversial deal reached in March to stem the flow of migrants to Europe.
“I don’t want to talk about the worst-case scenario but it is clear: either we apply all the agreements together, or we set them all aside,” Çavuşoğlu said in response to a question from Bild over whether Turkey would allow hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees to try to reach Greece from its shores.
Çavuşoğlu set October as the deadline for the implementation of the deal.