Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused the European Union of “humiliating” Ankara, and reiterated his government’s demand for visa-free travel in exchange for stemming the migrant flow, in an interview with a German daily. “The Turkish people are traumatised” by the failed putsch of July 15, Cavusoglu told Bild newspaper, in remarks that will be published on Monday. “Rather than helping Turkey, (European nations) are humiliating us,” he said.
EU-Turkish relations have soured since the coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with Europe concerned by Ankara’s subsequent crackdown. Turkey has angrily rejected EU criticism that the purges might violate rights norms Ankara must meet under the agreement in return for visa-free travel and accelerated negotiations for bloc membership. According to Cavusoglu, Turkey has made intense efforts, “like few other nations, to fulfil the conditions of accession to the EU”.
In return, Turkey has received “only threats, insults and a total blockage” from the 28-nation union. “I ask myself, what crime have we committed? Why this hostility?” said Cavusoglu, who on Wednesday accused the EU of “encouraging” the coup plotters. He again raised Turkey’s demand for visa-free travel for its citizens in the EU, in return for upholding a controversial deal reached in March to stem the flow of migrants to Europe.
“It is clear: either we apply all the agreements together, or we set them all aside,” Cavusoglu said in response to a question from Bild over whether Turkey would allow hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees to try to reach Greece from its shores.