Friday

21st Sep 2018

Turkey won't reform terrorism law to conform with EU deal

  • Turkey's government has purged thousands following the failed military coup last month (Photo: Reuters)

Turkey won't amend its anti-terrorism law, a blow which could upend the EU-Turkey migrant-swap deal signed off with Ankara in March.

In an interview with the Financial Times on Monday (8 August), Turkey's EU minister Omer Celik said it would be "impossible" to overhaul the law in the immediate future.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

EU imposed conditions require Turkey to narrow its definition of terrorism in the law, as part of a broader deal to free-up short term visas for Turkish nationals to travel in the European Union.

But the initial plan to ease visa waivers following the migrant deal over the summer failed, Ankara unable to meet all 72 visa liberalisation benchmarks.

Yet, Celik has not ruled out making the amendments to its counter-terrorism altogether. But he said tensions in the wake of last month's failed military coup along with other threats make the move impossible.

“We have the PKK, Daesh [Isis] and other groups launching attacks so it would not be intelligent to make an amendment in the terrorism law at this point," he said.

The Turkish government has used the broad definition of terrorism to crack down on opposition and jail journalists in the lead up to the coup on 15 July.

Turkey's foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, earlier this month, warned Turkey would no longer abide by the migrant deal, should the EU fail to lift the visa restrictions.

The March agreement has resulted in a sharp decrease in the number of mostly Syrians leaving Turkey to seek asylum in Greece.

The Geneva-based International Organisation for Migration (IOM) registered around 1,800 arrivals in July, down from almost 55,000 in July 2015.

Turkey threatens to scrap migrant deal with EU, again

Ankara has once again threatened to back away from a migrant deal with the EU unless visa waivers for Turks are lifted. Over 1,000 have crossed from Turkey to the Greek islands since the military coup attempt on 15 July.

Ankara and Kremlin in charm offensive

Turkey's president Erdogan met with his Russian counterpart Putin in St. Petersburg. The first visit for Erdogan since last month's military coup.

EU wants continental free-trade deal with Africa

Earlier this week, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in his state of the union announced a new relationship with Africa. On Friday, his subordinates outlined the vision, promising jobs and growth by leveraging public funds for investments.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  2. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  3. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  4. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  5. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says
  6. Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU
  7. Libya keeps coast guards rejected by the EU
  8. EU divisions on menu at Salzburg dinner

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us