Turkey visa deal ‘unlikely’ in 2017 say EU officials
German EU officials have said the Turkish president is to blame for the lack of agreement after his remarks on the death penalty and a crackdown on media outlets. ‘Like this, nothing will proceed,’ EU officials claimed.
EU plans to introduce visa-free travel for Turkish citizens by 2017 are unlikely to go ahead, according to the European Parliament’s Vice President, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff.
In Wednesday’s edition of the German tabloid “Bild,” Lambsdorff expressed concerns with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest remarks regarding the reinstatement of the death penalty, as well as his government’s detention of opposition journalists.
“Like this, nothing will proceed with visa-free travel,” Lambsdorff said.
Herbert Reul, a German Member of European Parliament for the Christian Democratic Union, said that Erdogan alone was to blame for the broken agreement. “If Erdogan continues this way, then visa-free travel will move increasingly out of reach.”
Visa-free travel arrangements in the Schengen area for Turkish citizens were a key condition in the bloc’s migrant deal with Turkey.
EU conditions of the agreement to relax, travel restrictions include reforms to Turkey’s anti-terror laws, which critics say are being used to prosecute innocent citizens. Turkey has so far refused to introduce the necessary amendments.
dm/jm (dpa, AFP)