Turkey’s president has strong words for the EU saying he would not change anti-terror laws in exchange for visa-free travel to Europe.
The European Commission asked Turkey for changes in their definition of terrorism to avoid conflicts over freedom of expression as a condition for approving visa-waivers as part of the deal agreed to stem the flow of migrants to Europe.
Speaking in Istanbul Erdogan said that “the EU lets terrorists (referring to Kurdish activists) put up tents near the Brussels parliament, and provides them with opportunities in the name of democracy, and then you tell us if we change our terrorism laws, the visas will be lifted. We’ll go our way, you go yours.”
It comes one day after the prime minister Davutoglu stepped down over a rift with Erdogan over several issues including a move toward a presidential system.
“The presidential issue is not directly related to me,” explained Erdogan. “Past experiences show that a presidential system and a new constitution are urgently needed.”
Erdogan is pushing to make the ceremonial position of president into a stronger executive office, something which has critics concerned it would concentrate too much power in his hands.