EU concerned over terrorism, migrants, media freedom in Turkey: CHP

EU concerned over terrorism, migrants, media freedom in Turkey: CHP

BRUSSELS - Anadolu Agency
EU concerned over terrorism, migrants, media freedom in Turkey: CHP

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Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said after meetings with top European Union officials in Brussels that the EU is concerned about poll security, media freedom, migrants, and terrorist acts in Turkey. 

“They expressed that they are concerned that terrorism has gradually increased, especially since the June 7 election, causing a loss of life and property and affecting poll security,” said Kılıçdaroğlu during a press meeting on Sept. 24 at the CHP’s EU office in Brussels. He was speaking after holding separate meetings with European Parliament President Martin Schulz, European Parliament Rapporteur for Turkey Kati Piri, and Rebecca Harms, the head of the Greens-European Free Alliance at the European Parliament.

Kılıçdaroğlu said he told the EU officials that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) - which has put an end to the peace process launched over two years ago to solve the three-decade-long Kurdish problem by launching attacks on Turkish security forces since July - is an armed terrorist organization that should lay down arms without any preconditions. 

He added that the current environment of terror in Turkey “served some people,” without openly defining who, while also adding that an end to terrorism would lead to the solution of many other problems in the country through negotiations. 

Kılıçdaroğlu also said top EU officials recognized that pressure on the Turkish media had increased, which was a critical situation for a country that officially remains an EU membership candidate. The negotiations on Turkey entering the EU have stagnated in recent years due to Turkey’s lack of reform progress and political blocks placed within the EU itself. 

Commenting on his meeting with Schulz, Kılıçdaroğlu said the European Parliament president had conveyed his concerns on issues related to the migrant crisis and pressure on the Turkish media. 

“We were informed that meetings on these issues were being held and the Turkish government has been warned on them,” he said. 

Stressing that the EU had not responded to the migrant crisis until it reached its doors and started affecting the union’s members, the CHP head said Turkey had done everything it could do by embracing two million Syrian migrants. 

“The Europeans only started to hold meetings [on the issue] when the migration process to Europe started,” said Kılıçdaroğlu, also criticizing the EU’s decision to reserve 1 billion euros in aid for Syrian migrants in Turkey, saying this was not enough to effectively tackle the problem. 

Meanwhile, Kılıçdaroğlu also said his party would finalize its election campaign strategy on Sept. 30 with a launch in Istanbul. He added that he hoped voters would “better understand the campaign” than in the June 7 election.