TURKEY

Turkish anti-terror operations contribute to EU's security, MFA says in rebuke to report

TURKISH ANTI-TERROR OPERATIONS CONTRIBUTE TO EUS SECURITY, MFA SAYS IN REBUKE TO REPORT

Turkish anti-terror operations contribute to the European Union's security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement late Tuesday.

The statement came after the European Commission's latest progress report criticized Turkey for moving rapidly away from the path of EU membership. It also called for the lifting of its state of emergency, but praised the country's humanitarian efforts for the nearly 4 million refugees it hosts within its borders.

"The European Commission is again unwilling to understand the difficulties Turkey is going through," the ministry statement said, adding that the report "gravely lacks" to mention the threat of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).

"The Commission is unable to be objective, balanced despite us repeatedly explaining issues with documentation," it said.

Previously on Tuesday, Government Spokesperson and Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ also criticized the Bloc for not treating Turkey "fairly or objectively," saying that the positive statements of the EU did not mask its unfairness towards Turkey.

European Commissioner Johannes Hahn, who oversees EU membership bids, had told a news conference that Turkey "continues to take huge strides away from the EU, in particular in the areas of rule of law and fundamental rights."

"The Commission has repeatedly called on Turkey to reverse this negative trend as a matter of priority and makes very clear the recommendations on this in today's report," he said.

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