Turkey Ties Migrant Deal to EU Visa Waiver

Southeast Europe | August 1, 2016, Monday // 12:16|  views

File photo, EPA/BGNES

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevl?t Cavusoglu has warned his country will not hold on to the migrant deal reached with the EU unless the latter proceeds the visa liberalization the two sides agreed on in the spring.

Turkey now expects a concrete date as of which a short-term visa waiver for Turkish citizens traveling to Schengen countries to take effect, ?avu?o?lu has noted in an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Otherwise it would be "forced to back away" from the March 18 deal, according to the minister.

Turkey is to receive EUR 3 B for the needs of Syrian refugees, and preparation will be made to go on with EU membership talks in exchange of its commitment to curbing the migrant inflow into Europe. In return, Turks are also to be granted visa-free travel throughout the Schengen area.

This is not the first time Ankara has issued a similar warnings, having already done so in May amid EU concerns that it was not delivering on all 72 criteria for visa liberalization and amid Brussels' concerns with Turkish anti-terrorism legislation.

In July, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has warned the deal might fall through amid the latest developments in Turkey, something the country's authorities have dismissed.

Turkey's neighbors Bulgaria and Greece have both been reporting a surge in the inflow since the failed coup attempt that took place in July.

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Tags: migrants, turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu, visa liberalisation, visa waiver, Turkey coup, Bulgaria, greece, Jean-Claude Juncker


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