SARAJEVO (AA) – The Turkish president’s chief advisor has criticized the European Union on Saturday over its request to have the anti-terror law in Turkey modified.
Yalcin Topcu, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief advisor, talked to Anadolu Agency in Sarajevo where he attended a conference titled "Turkish presence in the Balkans and Turkey's perspective".
“The European Union cannot hinder our fight against terrorism on this visa pretext. This is not moral and not faithful to the deal,” Topcu said.
On May 4, the European Commission proposed visa-free travel in Schengen zone for Turks as part of a deal that would see Turkey stem the refugee flow to Europe in exchange for speeding up the candidate country’s EU membership.
However, among five remaining benchmarks for Turkey to address in order for its citizens to benefit from visa-free travel, the EU has called for changes to Ankara's legislation on terrorism – a demand criticized and rejected by the Turkish government.
The chief advisor stressed that Turkey was the country most affected by terrorism, adding it had struggled more than others with numerous soldiers and citizens having been martyred.
“Unfortunately, we cannot see the necessary support from our friends [in counter-terrorism matters],” Topcu said.
He also noted that certain countries are supporting terrorist organizations according to official records.
“We hope our friends would give up aiding and abetting [the] terrorist organization,” Topcu said.
Turkey’s southeast has been the scene of significant military operations since December 2015 as the police and army seek to clear the PKK terrorist organization from urban areas.
Turkey has been calling on the U.S. to stop supporting the PYD - the PKK's Syrian affiliate - but Washington has provided air power and small arms ammunitions to the militant group.
The PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU – resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015.