Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 23
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Turkish passports do not meet EU standards, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported Oct. 22 citing diplomatic sources at the European Commission (EC).
The EC also recommended the government change the passports and improve their security.
Earlier, the EC welcomed Turkey's efforts in promoting the country's visa-free regime with the EU. But it is not ready to recommend canceling the visa.
On Oct. 20 the EC briefed the European Parliament and the EU Council on the first assessment of Turkey's fulfilling the criteria set out in the plan concerning a visa-free regime.
A road map, submitted by the EC to the Turkish authorities December 16, 2013, consists of five blocks, namely, document security, migration process management, public order and security, fundamental rights and readmission of illegal migrants.
The Turkish authorities signed a readmission agreement with the EU December 16, 2013.
Signing of a readmission agreement was the first real action towards the abolition of visa between Turkey and the EU.
"Turkey may terminate the agreement on readmission if the EU delays a decision on the abolition of visas for Turkish citizens," Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir said earlier in an interview with Anadolu agency.
"Accession into the European Union (EU) has always been, and will remain priority for Turkey," Bozkir said.
He said as long as Turkey and EU have common goals and tasks, the relations between them will remain at the same level.
He expressed hope that the common goals will allow Turkey to be closer to the EU and help to become a full member of this organization.
Turkey will hold a referendum on joining the EU, Turkish Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci said earlier.
"At present, Turkey implements reforms for joining the EU," Zeybekci said. "At the right time, Ankara may hold a referendum on the issue."
The official negotiations on Turkey's accession to the EU began in 2005.
Former prime minister, incumbent Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said that the EU continues to mislead Turkey regarding its membership, and this situation is upsetting for Turkey.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said earlier that Turkey's EU membership is not attractive for citizens.
"Earlier, 75 percent of the population supported Turkey's accession to the EU," Arinc had said. "At present, only 20 percent of the citizens want this."
Turkey fulfilled its obligations to the EU on its joining the organization by 65 percent.
edited by CN