Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğna on July 12 argued that the country has no problems in terms of democracy, rights and freedom, according to reporting by state-run Anadolu Agency.
Speaking at a news conference after the NATO summit in Vilnius, Erdoğan was asked whether to initiate reforms to improve democracy, rule of law and human rights in order to revive the European Union (EU) membership talks.
In response, Erdoğan said “Turkey has no problems in terms of democracy, rights and freedoms. In which country did you see that elections were held with a turnout of close to 90 percent in the world? In our last election there was a 88 percent turnout and I was elected. There is nothing missing in terms of rights and freedoms. Against terrorist organizations, of course, the state will do what it takes to be a state.”
After Erdoğan on July 10 agreed to forward to parliament Sweden's bid to join the NATO military alliance, Stockholm vowed to support Turkey's customs agreement with the European Union (EU) as well as visa-free travel.
Agreement with Sweden increased expectations from Turkey to take steps and implement reforms on behalf of EU membership.
“Sweden will actively support our country's EU membership process, updating Turkey’s custom agreement, which is critical for our economy, and visa liberalization. Sweden will continue to do its part in removing the restrictions applied to Turkey, especially in the field of defense industry,” Erdoğan added.