Baku, Azerbaijan, May 26
By Anakhanum Idayatova - Trend:
Europe applies double standards to Turkey, political scientist, associate professor of the Department of International Relations at the Ankara-based TOBB University of Economics and Technology Togrul Ismayil told Trend.
The EU simplified visa regime with many countries, with which it has association agreements, he said, adding that Turkey is a candidate for accession to the EU, but Europe doesn't agree to introduce visa-free regime with it.
Previously, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU may introduce a visa-free regime with Turkey in autumn 2016 if Ankara implements all the necessary requirements.
An 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.
Ismayil added that the issue of visa-free regime has turned into a political controversy between the sides.
"Turkey must fulfill another five conditions of the EU for a visa-free regime," said Ismayil. "But the criteria are not the case. The EU will establish a visa-free regime if it ever wishes to do so."
He said that the issue of visa-free entry into the EU is not fundamental for Turkey.
"Currently, the more important issue for Turkey is what will further happen to the refugees from Syria," said the expert. "After all, the problem of refugees is not just Turkey's issue. On one hand, the EU tells Turkey that it is necessary to close borders and not to let the refugees cross into Europe. On the other hand, the EU tells Greece it will be excluded from the Schengen Area if the country receives refugees. Again we see a double standards approach."
Ismayil said that the EU is trying to shift the whole burden of the refugees issue to Turkey.
"There are not only refugees from Syria among those which the EU tries to return to Turkey, there are also refugees from other countries and from Africa," said Ismayil.
Currently there are more than two million Syrian refugees in Turkey. Syrian refugee camps in that country accommodate about 300,000 people.
The rest of the refugees are spread throughout the provinces and cities of Turkey. In Istanbul alone, there are currently 40,000 refugees from Syria.
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