Deputy PM: Turkey isn't suspending EU readmission deal
Turkey has not suspended its readmission agreement with the European Union, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Monday, Anadolu Agency reported.
"We have no plans on our agenda to suspend the readmission agreement now," Kurtulmus told reporters after a Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara.
"Turkey has sincerely done its part. Turkey is continuing the EU negotiation [process] resolutely. We want to get results," he added.
A readmission process between the EU and Turkey, entered into in October 2014, makes it possible to return undocumented migrants who enter Europe via Turkey and vice versa.
Full implementation of the readmission agreement is also required in order to implement a visa-liberation process for Turkish citizens visiting the EU's Schengen zone.
Talks over visa freedom for nearly 80 million Turks soured when the EU requested that Turkey complete the five remaining necessary benchmarks, out of an initial 72, including one on terrorism. Turkey, which is currently fighting terrorist groups such as Daesh and the PKK, has refused to alter its anti-terrorism laws.
Kurtulmus said he hoped the EU will act "clearly and transparently" and keep its promises to Turkey.
"With the implementation of these [readmission and visa-liberation measures], the European Union would be the main winner, not Turkey," Kurtulmus said.
He added that since these are not "domestic political issues" for either Turkey or the EU, they should not be made into domestic political fodder.
Previously, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned there would be no readmission agreement with the EU unless talks on visa freedom for Turks are "fruitful".