ANKARA (AA) – The attacks seen in Turkey this week serve to reconfirm that Ankara is right to rebuff European Union pressure to change its terrorism laws, said Turkey’s presidential spokesman Wednesday.
“Of course, it is not possible to take any steps that weaken Turkey in the fight against terrorism,” Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told a news conference at the presidential complex in Ankara.
“The episodes that took place yesterday and today once more confirm our being right on this issue,” he said, speaking about two car bomb attacks on Tuesday on Wednesday, in Istanbul and the southeastern province of Mardin.
The EU has said Turkey must revise “the legislation and practices on terrorism in line with European standards" in order for visa liberalization for Turkish citizens to enter into force.
But Ankara has firmly rejected any such change, with Turkey's EU minister Omer Celik saying that it is not realistic to expect such changes at a time when Turkey is fighting terror organizations such as the PKK and Daesh.
Kalin said, “Our European friends need to stand beside Turkey without compromise” in the fight against terrorism instead of “making suggestions and recommendations that may cause weakness”.
A car bomb attack in Istanbul’s Beyazit district targeted a police bus on Tuesday, martyring six police officers and killing five civilians.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Wednesday identified the PKK terrorist organization as the culprit, saying, “The murderer is the PKK terrorist organization.”
On Wednesday, a car bomb was detonated outside a police station in Midyat, a town in the southeastern province of Mardin, killing two civilians and martyring a police officer.
The area has seen considerable PKK activity since the group, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU, resumed its 30-year armed campaign in July last year.