Skip to content
Subscriber Only

EU Making `Big Mistake' in Turkey Deal, Kurdish Leader Warns

  • Bloc sacrificing principles in exchange for help with refugees
  • HDP's Demirtas gives exclusive interview en route to Brussels
Selahattin Demirtas

Selahattin Demirtas

Photographer: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Updated on

The European Union is making an historic mistake in its haste to conclude a refugee deal with Turkey, overlooking human rights violations that risk plunging the bloc’s largest membership candidate into civil war, said Selahattin Demirtas, leader of the nation’s most prominent pro-Kurdish party.

The EU is turning a blind eye to an opposition crackdown in Turkey that’s polarizing society and complicating efforts to find a political solution to the nation’s Kurdish conflict, Demirtas said in an impromptu interview en route to Brussels. European leaders are expected to ink an agreement with Turkey on Monday that will offer faster EU membership negotiations and visa-free travel in exchange for stopping refugees from crossing the country to enter Europe.