Turkey digs in heels over terrorism law, to EU’s chagrin

by Tulay Karadeniz and Gabriela Baczynska  |  published on May 12, 2016

Turkey refused again on Wednesday to make changes to its anti-terrorism laws demanded by Brussels in a hardening of its stance that could jeopardize a major deal with the bloc covering migrants, free travel and militants.

EU officials and rights groups have accused Turkey of using broad anti-terrorism legislation to stifle dissent. Ankara says it needs the laws to battle Kurdish militants at home and threats from Islamic State in neighboring Iraq and Syria.

Brussels wants Ankara to narrow its legal definition of terrorism and change some other laws to meet EU standards – as part of the wide-ranging deal to secure Turkish help in reducing the flow of migrants into Europe.

But Ankara’s minister for EU affairs, Volkan Bozkir, told broadcaster NTV Turkish legislation already met EU standards.

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