Czech President Milos Zeman has allegedly slammed the idea of Turkey joining the EU, stressing that Ankara appears to act as if it was an ally of Daesh (the Islamic state) militant group rather than that of western powers.
The remarks by the Czech leader were made at the end of his visit to the country’s north Bohemia region, where Zeman reportedly condemned EU authorities’ decision to provide Ankara with $3.2 billion aid package for keeping refugees fleeing violence in Syria on Turkish territory and preventing them from reaching mainland Europe.
“The Roman Empire, before it collapsed, too, paid tribute money to barbarians [for them not to pilfer its territory],” Zaman claimed, adding that Turkey usually acts like a Daesh ally rather than that of the West, despite being a NATO member.
Zeman explained his stance, arguing that Turkey can accommodate Syrian refugees on the grounds that majorities of populations in both nations have a common religion – Islam — and there is no cultural barrier between accepting and receiving sides.
“The danger does not rest in Islam as such but in transferring these [Muslim] habits to Europe,” he pointed out.
President Zeman also said that Brussels must regard Ankara with “caution,” underscoring that Turkey is not purely a European nation and, considering this, shouldn’t be treated like every other EU country.
Zeman is not the first European politician who is skeptical of Turkey joining the EU.
According to PJ Media outlet, Geert Wilders, the head of Dutch far-right party (PVV) that has led the polls in the Netherlands for several months in a row, sticking to a similar position. He reiterated that even not radical Muslims moving to Europe bring their beliefs — which are not westernized and not enlightened enough – there.
Earlier in November, Ankara inked a deal with Brussels suggesting that Turkey will assist in tackling the flow of migrants to Europe in return for €3 billion package and the revival of negotiations on the country joining the EU.
- Britain formally triggers Article 50 to leave the EU
- Turkey wants to join EU through referendum only days after threatening Europe
- "We reached our limits": Greece to stop taking back refugees
- "Europe's Migrant Policy Causes Terrorism": Polish PM
- Erdogan: Keep Calling Me Dictator, I'll Keep Calling You Nazis