EU ambassador to Turkey resigns

The top EU ambassador to Turkey has resigned less than a year after beginning the job.

Ambassador Hansjoerg Haber, a German diplomat who assumed the post last October, has not given a reason for his resignation.

The announcement comes at a tense time for Turkey-EU relations, as Turkey has not met conditions required of a landmark deal that would allow Turkish citizens to travel in the European Union without a visa – a demand of Turkey in exchange for working to curb the flow of refugees.

The European Union has asked Turkey narrow its definition of terror and anti-terror laws that have been used to justify the arrests of journalists and academics.

But Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildrim has said these laws would not be changed “under any condition”.

Haber has been very critical of Turkey’s reluctance to meet the remaining criteria for the deal, reportedly saying, “We have a saying ‘Start like a Turk and end like a German.’But here it is the other way around,” comments seen as deeply offensive inside Turkey.

Haber was previously a German diplomat to Ankara between 1993 and 1996.