EU must understand Turkey's sensitivities in fighting terrorism, EU Minister says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 30.06.2016 11:44
Updated 30.06.2016 16:28
EU Minister Ömer Çelik, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and Agriculture Min. Mehdi Eker speak to media as they arrive in Brussels, Belgium, June 30, 2016 (EPA Photo)
EU Minister Ömer Çelik, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and Agriculture Min. Mehdi Eker speak to media as they arrive in Brussels, Belgium, June 30, 2016 (EPA Photo)

EU minister Ömer Çelik urged Europe to understand Turkey's sensitivities in fighting terrorism on Thursday, as he arrived in Brussels with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to open Chapter 33 of the European Union accession process, which covers economic and financial provisions.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a meeting in Brussels, Çelik said that Turkey will take further steps to strengthen its ability to fight terrorism, after triple suicide attacks hit Istanbul's Atatürk airport on Tuesday, killing at least 44 people.

Çelik said that it is not fair to differentiate between the security of some places, and added that such treatment would mean serious deficiencies in democratic values, in reference to EU's criticism of Turkey's anti-terror laws.

''We should go beyond feelings of solidarity and act upon a common course of action'' Çelik said.

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also spoke to reporters and underscored that Turkey will not only open Chapter 33 in Brussels, but will also show determination for other chapters for its EU accession.

''To tell you the truth, Turkey is ready to and deserves to open more chapters'' Çavuşoğlu said.

He also noted that Turkey will discuss visa liberalization with EU officials.

Chapter 33 will be the sixteenth chapter Turkey opened since October 3, 2005 when it first launched membership negotiations.

Countries hoping to join the EU must complete negotiations in 35 chapters. Turkey's accession talks started in 2005.

The EU promised Turkey faster membership talks as an incentive to stop migrants reaching Europe and to take back thousands more. It has also offered visa-free travel for Turkish citizens and up to 6 billion euros ($6.8 billion) for Syrian refugees sheltering in Turkey.

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