Turkey Blasts EU Over Crackdown Criticism

Turkey blasts EU over crackdown criticism

ANKARA, Nov 7, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 07th Nov, 2016 ) - Turkey protested to EU envoys and branded relations with Brussels as "fragile" on Monday over the bloc's criticism of its crackdown in the wake of the July 15 coup. In recent days, the European Union has strongly criticised Turkey, a candidate for accession, over the arrests of nine MPs from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), including its two co-leaders. "We made clear our alarm over the positions taken by the EU," Turkish EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik said in televised comments after calling in all EU member state ambassadors for an unusual meeting at his ministry.

"We are in a very fragile period in EU-Turkey relations... Constant opposition to Turkey is not a correct policy," he added. Celik also hit out at "racist" voices within the EU that have called for the country's accession process to be halted due to the clampdown -- Turkey has been seeking to join the EU since the 1960s. He complained that the bloc had not shown sufficient solidarity with Ankara following the failed July 15 coup bid aimed at toppling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"It is not acceptable that some of our friends in Europe use one sentence to say that they are standing next to us and then come up with nine sentences of criticism," he added. Turkey has blamed the coup on US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, accusing him of running a group called the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO), and has said Europe is not doing enough to extradite his supporters. Gulen denies the claims.