Gülenists and PKK poisoning our relations with EU: Deputy PM
AA photoDeputy Turkish Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek has accused the followers of the Gülen movement, believed to have orchestrated the July 15 coup, as well as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), of trying to harm Turkey’s relationship with the European Union after ties between Ankara and Brussels recently soured.
“Lately, the terrorist organization FETÖ [Fethullahist Terrorist Organization] and the separatist group [Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)] are in efforts to poison our relations with the EU, but we will never allow that,” Şimşek said on Dec. 5 in a speech during parliamentary discussions for the 2017 budget draft.
Şimşek stressed that Turkey would continue to fulfill the requirements of the EU membership process.
“We believe the EU will soon be able to understand us better in our struggle against the separatist terrorist organization and FETÖ. We will not allow them to harm our relations with the EU,” he added.
Şimşek said Turkey gave importance to what he described as the “European anchor” to strengthen democracy, reinforce the principle of the rule of law and build high-quality institutions.
The statement came after the European Parliament called the EU Council to freeze ongoing accession talks in light of an increase in serious violations of human rights and democracy in Turkey.