Turkey may stop taking Syrian refugees if EU keeps visa regime
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 28
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Ankara may refuse to accept Syrian refugees from the EU if the union doesn't cancel the visa regime with Turkey, Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir said, the country's newspaper Haber7 reported March 28.
Turkey and the EU have mutual obligations, Bozkir said.
"The EU must cancel the visa regime with Turkey, and Turkey should accept the Syrian refugees back from the countries of the union," the minister said.
Earlier, it was reported that in order to cancel the visa regime with the EU, Turkey's parliament should approve a number of amendments, including the new passports, meeting the EU standards by May 4, 2016.
If the visa regime is cancelled, Turkish citizens will be able to stay without visa for three months in the following countries: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Iceland, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Hungary, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Greece.
Earlier, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said that the EU may introduce a visa-free regime with Turkey in the autumn of 2016, if Ankara implements all the necessary requirements.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that full membership in the EU continues to remain a priority for Turkey.
The Association Agreement between the EU and Turkey was signed in 1963. Ankara filed an application for the EU membership in 1987, but the negotiations on Ankara's accession to the EU started only in 2005.