18th Mar 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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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.


Four years on – but we will not forget illegally-occupied Crimea

Together with many other partners, including the United States, Canada and Norway, the European Union has implemented a policy of non-recognition and sanctions regimes, targeting people and entities that have promoted Russia's illegal annexation.

News in Brief

  1. Sweden emerges as possible US-North Korean summit host
  2. Google accused of paying academics backing its policies
  3. New interior minister: 'Islam doesn't belong to Germany'
  4. Hamburg 'dieselgate' driver wins case to get new VW car
  5. Slovak deputy PM asked to form new government
  6. US, Germany, France condemn 'assault on UK sovereignty'
  7. MEPs accept Amsterdam as seat for EU medicines agency
  8. Auditors: EU farm 'simplification' made subsidies more complex

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceConmtroversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  2. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  3. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  4. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  5. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  6. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  7. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  8. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  9. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?
  10. European Jewish CongressThe 2018 European Medal of Tolerance Goes to Prince Albert II of Monaco
  11. FiscalNoteGlobal Policy Trends: What to Watch in 2018
  12. Human Rights and Democracy NetworkPromoting Human Rights and Democracy in the Next Eu Multiannual Financial Framework

Latest News

  1. Brexit and trade will top This WEEK
  2. Dutch MPs in plan to shut EU website on Russian propaganda
  3. Four years on – but we will not forget illegally-occupied Crimea
  4. Evacuated women from Libya arrive newly-pregnant
  5. Merkel in Paris for eurozone reform talks
  6. Commission rejects ombudsman criticism over Barroso case
  7. Western allies back UK amid Russian media blitz
  8. Meet the European Parliament's twittersphere