EU foreign policy chief says PKK must end violence

Speaking at a press conference in Ankara, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called on the PKK to cease all attacks against Turkey and said that the EU will continue working on a visa-free deal with the government.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

European Union's Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini delivers a speech during a press conference following the Turkey-EU High Level Political Dialogue Meeting on September 9, 2016 at Ankara Palace in Ankara, Turkey.

The PKK needs to lay down its arms and use political channels to resolve disputes, European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Friday.

Mogherini was speaking at a press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn in Ankara when she made the comments.

"We believe all violence and terrorist attacks have to stop and arms laid down and a political process started. And the European Union obviously would be ready to accompany this process," Mogherini said in Ankara.

EU foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğluspeak at a press conference at Ankara Palace, in Turkey's capital Ankara, alongside Turkey's Minister of European Union Affairs Ömer Çelik and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn. (AFP)

Çavuşoğlu said EU countries should "not tolerate" PKK supporters holding rallies in Europe.

The PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organisation in Turkey, the EU and the US – resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state last year.

Since then, 600 security personnel died in PKK attacks while more than 7,000 PKK terrorists have been killed in security operations.

Visa-free travel

Mogherini also said that the EU will continue working with Turkey on visa-free travel to Europe and upgrading the customs union. 

Visa-free travel for Turks in the EU is a point of contention. Turkey says it is a pre-requisite in the migration deal which will see the EU compensate Ankara for acomodating refugees fleeing from war-torn Syria.

The EU is demanding that Turkey review its anti-terrorism laws before any deal can be signed, while Ankara argues the legislation is needed to fight multiple threats.

TRTWorld and agencies