Turkey could cancel readmission deal unless EU keeps pledges

Turkish EU Affairs minister says Turkey has right to cancel readmission agreement if EU doesn’t keep promise of visa-free travel for Turkish citizens as pledged

Photo by: AA (Archive)
Photo by: AA (Archive)

Updated Apr 22, 2016

Turkey has right to cancel a readmission agreement with the EU if it doesn’t keep promise for visa-free travel for Turkish citizens, said Turkey's EU minister and chief negotiator Volkan Bozkir on Sunday.

The 28-nation bloc pledged to implement a visa-free travel in the Schengen Area for Turkish citizens in return for Turkey accepting back refugees who cross into Greece illegally in a deal which came into effect on March 20.

The Schegen Area is the area in which citizens from 26 EU member countries, excluding Ireland and the UK, are normally free to travel without border controls. Turkish citizens currently have to apply for a special visa to travel in this zone.

The deal also includes the provision of financial aid for refugees in Turkey - who number nearly 3 million - and progress in Turkey's EU membership negotiations.

Bozkir said Turkey has so far fulfilled 40 out of 72 articles which required for visa-free travel, adding the rest would be completed by the end of April.

He also wished Turkish Christians a happy Easter, as well as the worldwide Christian community.

The Christian community is an inseparable part of Turkey and the country is proud of this, he said.