Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan prepares for a meeting with top European Union officials in the midst of an intensifying diplomatic row with Germany.
JULY 25, 2017 BRUSSELS—Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ramped up his anti-Western rhetoric Tuesday ahead of a meeting between his foreign minister and top European Union officials, saying the era of a submissive Turkey bowing to every Western demand is over.
Turkey has been mired in an escalating diplomatic row with European Union powerhouse Germany following the arrests last week of a group of human rights activists, including a German national, on terror-related charges. Earlier, a German-Turkish journalist was arrested for allegedly spying and aiding Kurdish rebels.
“The West wants Turkey to bring about their demands no questions asked … I am sorry to say that Turkey no longer exists,” Mr. Erdogan told a meeting of his ruling party’s legislators in Ankara.Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik are meeting with EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels Tuesday. Turkey’s long-standing bid for EU membership remains in the deep freeze and show no signs of thawing.
“Our call is very simple. We want the unconditional and immediate release of these human rights defenders,” said Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty. Amnesty’s Turkey director, Idil Eser, and its chair, Taner Kilic, are among those being detained.
“Turkey has to get a clear message that the EU would like to reset its relationship with Turkey and that there will be consequences for the actions they take, because right now they feel no consequences,” Mr. Shetty added after handing a petition to Ms. Mogherini.
More than 50,000 people, including journalists and opposition lawmakers, have been detained since the July 15, 2016, coup attempt. Critics say the crackdown initially targeted people suspected of links to the failed coup, but has expanded to include government opponents.
Full article: President Erdogan says ‘era of a submissive Turkey’ is over (The Christian Science Monitor)