Don’t be harsh on us for KCK, Bağış tells EU

Turkey’s EU minister has asked EU countries to tone down their criticism of recent operations against the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK).

Turkey’s EU minister has asked EU countries to tone down their criticism of recent operations against the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK).

While the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is on the EU’s list of terrorist organizations, the criticisms Europe has made on action taken toward the KCK, the alleged urban wing of the PKK, is not consistent with Europe’s approach to counter-terrorism, Minister for EU Affairs Egemen Bağış said yesterday.

PKK was “a threat to Turkey as well as Europe” and Turkey has been fighting against a terrorist organization that “pointed guns at innocent individuals for the past 30 years,” Bağış said at the 67th meeting of Turkey and EU Joint Parliament Committee in Brussels.

“While the PKK may massacre our citizens with bullets, it poisons European youth with illicit drugs and has a wide crime network that includes illegal human trafficking,” he said.

Bağış said the citizens of Belize, Paraguay, Uruguay, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina can enter EU countries without a visa, yet the same rules do not apply to Turkey. As a country with deep and historic relations with the union, visa liberalization for Turkey was a right stemming from agreements signed with the EU, Bağış said.

Bağış said no one could halt Turkey’s reforms by putting obstacles before its EU membership.

“Domestic reforms in Turkey continue more rapidly than ever,” he said adding that he saw prejudice as the biggest obstacle before Turkey’s EU membership.

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