EU summons Turkish envoy over Erdogan warning
The EU has called on Turkey's envoy in Brussels to explain President Erdogan's warning about Europeans being unsafe on the world's streets.
The EU has called on Turkey's envoy in Brussels to explain President Erdogan's warning about Europeans being unsafe on the world's streets. The German foreign minister has advised keeping channels with Ankara open.
Erdogan's remarks were made just hours ahead of the deadly attack outside the British parliament on Wednesday. EU foreign affairs spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said on Thursday:
"We have asked the Turkish permanent delegate to the EU to come... as we would like to receive an explanation with regard to the comments by President Erdogan concerning the safety of Europeans on the streets of the world."
Speaking in Ankara on Wednesay, Erdogan had implied that Europeans would receive the same treatment he claimed Turks and Muslims in Europe experience. "If you continue to behave like this, tomorrow in no part of the world, no European, no Westerner will be able to take steps on the street safely and peacefully," Erdogan said.
Relations between Turkey and the EU have been tested by limits put on Turkish ministers campaigning in Europe for a "yes" vote in next month's referendum on extending Erdogan's presidential powers.
"We must make every effort to persuade Turkey that the path it is on is not the right path, and at the same time keep the channels of communication open," Gabriel said in Athens.
His Greek counterpart, Nikos Kotzias, said it was in Europe's interests that Turkey should be democratic and leaning towards Europe but that Turkey itself would determine its own path.