: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Erdogan slams EU visa freedom benchmark on terror


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized one of the European Union requirements regarding visa freedom for Turkish citizens, according to Anadolu news agency.
”We will go our way; you go yours,” he said, addressing a local rally in Istanbul on Friday, Anadolu reports.
Among five remaining benchmarks for Turkey to address, the EU demanded a change in Ankara`s legislation on terrorism in exchange for visa liberalization for Turkish citizens, Anadolu reported.
”The EU is telling us to change our law on combatting terrorism. [They] are allowing terrorists to raise tents and then [they] come with requirements,” said Erdogan
Erdogan was referring to a controversial tent raised in March by PKK supporters near the European Council building in Brussels. PKK is declared a terrorist organization by the EU, the U.S., and Turkey.
His comments come two days after the European Commission proposed visa-free travel for Turks.
The 28-nation bloc`s executive body said Turkey has five remaining benchmarks, out of an initial 72, to fulfill before the European Parliament is set to vote on whether nearly 80 million Turkish citizens will be able to travel freely in the Schengen borderless zone. 
The five remaining benchmarks touch on issues including: measures to prevent corruption, data protection in line with EU standards, cooperation with EU`s law enforcement agency Europol, judicial cooperation on criminal matters with all EU member states and ”revising the legislation and practices on terrorism in line with European standards”.

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