Erdogan to EU: We will go our way; you go yours

Turkish President Erdogan lambastes European leaders for demanding Turkey to change its counter-terrorism law as a condition for visa liberalisation.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during an opening ceremony of Eyup Municipality's service building in Istanbul, Turkey on May 6, 2016.

Updated May 7, 2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised one of the European Union requirements, which demands Turkey to change its counter-terrorism law, regarding visa freedom for Turkish citizens.

Among five remaining benchmarks for Turkey to address, the EU demanded a change in Ankara's legislation on terrorism in exchange for visa liberalisation for Turkish citizens.

"We will go our way; you go yours," he said, addressing a local rally in Istanbul on Friday. "The EU is telling us to change our law on combatting terrorism. [They] are allowing terrorists to raise tents and then [they] come with requirements."


Erdogan was referring to a controversial tent raised in March by PKK supporters near the European Council building in Brussels. PKK is declared a terrorist organisation by the EU, the US and Turkey.

His comments come two days after the European Commission proposed visa-free travel for Turkish citizens.

The 28-nation bloc's executive body said Turkey has five remaining benchmarks, out of an initial 72, to fulfil before the European Parliament is set to vote on whether nearly 80 million Turkish citizens will be able to travel freely in the Schengen borderless zone.

The five remaining benchmarks touch on issues including: measures to prevent corruption, data protection in line with EU standards, cooperation with EU’s law enforcement agency Europol, judicial cooperation on criminal matters with all EU member states and "revising the legislation and practices on terrorism in line with European standards."

TRTWorld and agencies