Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday that he believes that a positive outcome will come out of the visa deal between Turkey and the European Union, while ruling out a possible change in counter-terrorism law.
“I believe that we will receive a positive outcome which takes Turkey’s sensitivities in fight against terrorism into consideration in this matter [visa deal],” Erdoğan stated.
Turkey needs to fulfill 72 criteria to gain visa-free travel to Europe, as part of a refugee deal between Turkey and the EU. However, Turkey refuses to change its anti-terror laws to meet the EU criteria.
Speaking at an iftar —fast breaking meal— at Presidential complex in Ankara, Erdoğan stated, “It is not possible for us to take a step which would weaken Turkey’s capacity to fight terrorism.”
Some critics say that Turkey violates freedom of speech by using the anti-terror laws as excuse to prosecute journalists and academics.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had previously said that if EU does not grant Turkey visa-free travel by October, then Turkey would cancel the refugee deal.