Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Eskişehir deputy Utku Çakırözer has said that Turkey’s main problem in fighting terror is that it labels journalists, writers and academics as terrorists.
Speaking to Yarına Bakış, one of Turkey’s few remaining independent dailies, on Wednesday, Çakırözer said that Europe does not want us to stop fighting terror, adding that it only wants us to differentiate between terrorists and journalist or academics.
“The main problem in our fight against terrorism — which the government has the right to, the operations against PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) are legitimate – are labeling journalists, writers and academics as terrorists. They [Europe] criticize us for doing that. They also do not trust us about the graft issue,” Çakırözer said.
Emphasizing that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan does not want to become a member of the EU, CHP deputy added: “If he wanted it, he would be using a different language and politics towards them. Unfortunately, our dialogue with EU involves threats and blackmails. Of course we have to be aware of our power and protect our honor but our problems with EU can only be solved by dialogue, mutual interests and reconciliation.”
Çakırözer reminded that Turkey has had a more than 50-years-old goal to join EU and each government worked to achieve it.
“It’s impossible to return to our old agenda with the current manners [of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party)]. Visa-free travel was suspended because we can never agree on the definition of the word ‘terrorist’ if we keep putting journalists and thinkers behind bars, if we keep seeing dissents as enemies and arrest those who have nothing to do with guns for being terrorists,” the deputy also said.
Two weeks ago, Erdoğan said that Turkey might hold a referendum on whether to end or continue negotiations with EU.
“Just like United Kingdom, we could also ask our people whether to continue or end negotiations with EU. … Turkey is not after visa-free travel or the shipping back [to Turkish territory of migrants who arrive in Greece]. However, you are after Turkey right now. You are thinking about what would happen if Turkey was to open the gates and let the refugees pass. You are losing your temper because Erdoğan throws off your mask and reveals your true, ugly face. That’s why you are thinking of ways to get rid of Erdoğan. … Europe, you do not want us only because the majority of our people are Muslims,” Erdoğan said.