Turkey’s European Union affairs minister on Saturday compared far-right groups and racists to terrorist groups, warning of the threat they pose to everyone in Europe.
“Far-right groups and racists are tantamount to Daesh,” Omer Celik told news channel CNN Turk in an interview.
Celik said that if these groups grow stronger, it would be a “great threat to democratic, innocent people in Europe as well as to Muslims and Turks”.
The rise of right-wing populists across Europe, many of them espousing anti-Muslim and anti-migrant rhetoric, has alarmed Turkey in recent years.
Asked about recent European developments from Brexit to separatism in Catalonia, Celik said Europe’s prosperity and stability should be protected for Turkey’s national interests.
Celik also criticised European demands that Turkey change its anti-terrorism law as part of its EU membership bid, saying they are trying to impose an outside agenda.
“Instead of coming up with a proper proposal to Turkey under the name of ‘will to reform,’ they only come with a proposal from their own agendas. This prevents a will to reform from developing,” he said.
“Under these circumstances, there is no such thing as Turkey letting up in its fight against terrorism”, Celik added.