‘Turkey part of Europe’: Turkish diplomat

By Tugcenur Yilmaz and Zuhal Demirci

ANKARA (AA) – Ankara's top diplomat for EU affairs said on Wednesday that it is not possible to accept unjust and disproportionate criticisms in the EU Commission’s Turkey report.

Underlining that the report reflects the EU's own existential crises, Faruk Kaymakci said that populist movements correspond to European public opinion as seen in the European Parliament elections.

Stressing that the EU is moving away from its founding ideology, Kaymakci said: “EU cannot identify the current situation in Turkey correctly.”

“The EU does not demonstrate impartial attitude towards Turkey because of the prejudices arising from their own problems,” he added.

“The statements claiming that Turkey is moving away from European values are inconsistent and invalid […] Turkey is a part of Europe. Turkey is Europe,” Kaymakci said.

He criticized the reference to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) as "Gulen Movement", describing it as a civil society organization.

Kaymakci stressed that Turkey will consider the consistent and reasonable criticisms in the report.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

* Writing by Zehra Nur Duz