Turkey ‘fed up with’ EU’s arrogant attitude
Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
AFP photoThe Turkish nation is frustrated by the European Union’s “hypocrisy and double standards” toward Turkey, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said, noting that the government was consequently considering holding a referendum about Ankara’s future relations with the bloc.
“Every day, an EU foreign minister comes up and says: ‘Let’s throw Turkey out, let’s throw them out of the negotiations, let’s throw them out of NATO.’ We don’t deserve this treatment. Therefore, let’s ask our people and let the people decide,” he said Nov. 15 alongside German FM Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
“We are truly fed up with this approach that humiliates Turkey,” the Turkish minister said.
Because of this reaction, “Turkish people put pressure on us to stop these negotiations,” Çavuşoğlu said.
The minister once more called on Germany to extradite “terrorists” in the country, saying there were nearly 4,500 files about outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members.
He asked Germany not to allow PKK members to live in the country.
Steinmeier said Germany was addressing the files in line with the country’s laws.
It’s up to Turkey to decide on fate of EU talks
The German minister held talks in Ankara to ease tensions following a war of words between Berlin and Ankara that have occurred in concert with growing tensions between the EU and Turkey.
He said it was up to Turkey’s people to decide whether to continue accession talks with the EU, reaffirming Berlin’s “serious concern” at the crackdown after the failed July 15 coup.
Steinmeier said his talks with the Turkish minister had “not been easy” and admitted the pair had expressed “divergent views” about the post-coup attempt crackdown in Turkey.
Reiterating that he did not support halting negotiations between Ankara and Brussels, Steinmeier said, “The question of whether Turkey goes closer to, or further away, from Europe is not a decision for Europe or European capitals but should be made in Turkey.”
The German minister stressed he was in favor of a good and close cooperation with Turkey based on trust, adding that they should not endanger ties between two countries. Germany stood by its fight against both the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the PKK, he said, while condemning the July coup attempt.
In a move to calm down Turkish politicians’ reaction to statements from Germany on the status of fundamental rights in Turkey after the coup attempt, Steinmeier said Ankara should not see criticism from Berlin as “a lecture or disrespect for its sovereignty,” saying it was in the interest of long-term relations between the two sides.
Steinmeier said he expressed concerns regarding “mass detentions, concerns on freedom of expression and freedom of press and purge of thousands of public servants” during his talks with Çavuşoğlu as part of measures the government adopted after the coup attempt.
Elaborating on accusations by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that Germany was harboring terrorist groups such as the PKK and the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), Steinmeier said he was “irritated, to say the least,” by the criticisms.