Home Page
26 Aug 16

Turkey Sets Visa-Free Deadline for EU

The Turkish PM told his Bulgarian counterpart to pass on the message that the EU must drop visa requirements for Turkish citizens in October if Brussels wants to send back migrants to Turkey as agreed.

Mariya Cheresheva BIRN Sofia
Bulgarian PM Borissov meets Turkish President Erdogan in Istanbul on Friday. Photo: Boyko Borissov/Facebook

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim made it clear on Friday that unless the EU guarantees visa-free travel for Turkish citizens by the end of October, Ankara could back out of its agreement to help stem the flow of migrants to the European bloc.

“We want our European friends to understand that the time to take more responsibility on the migrant question has come,” Yildirim said after talks with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov in Istanbul.

“It is vitally important the agreement for visa liberalisation enters into force by the end of October. If the readmission agreement and the visa liberalisation do not enter into force, this would put Europe under huge risk,” he added.

Yildirim explained that he “made this clear” to his Borissov, and said he was sure the Bulgarian premier would pass the message on to EU leaders.

Visa-free travel for Turkish citizens in the EU is among Ankara’s main requirements in order for European countries to be able to send back migrants to Turkey as part of the controversial deal that the bloc signed with the Turkish authorities in March.

But the EU has said that Turkey has not met the necessary requirements for visa liberalisation in the field of human rights protection and has called on Turkey to change its new anti-terror law.

After his talks with Yildirim and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Borissov is flying to Berlin, where he will discuss the refugee crisis at a meeting with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the prime ministers of Slovenia, Austria and Croatia.

“I have many messages to share with my friends. I have written them down in order to be accurate,” Borissov said on Friday.

Borissov said that the EU had made an agreement with Turkey on visa liberalisation and should stick to it.

He also called for Europe-wide solidarity with countries such as Bulgaria and Greece and noted that he would not allow “Bulgaria to be a buffer between Turkey and Europe”.

He rejected the idea of signing a bilateral agreement with Turkey to deter the flow of migrants.

“If we guarantee our border with Turkey, who will guarantee the Greek, the Macedonian, the Serbian borders?” he asked.

Earlier this week Borissov complained about what he called an “absolute lack of solidarity” among EU members in terms of managing the refugee crisis. 

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

News

frozen-turkish-funding-leaves-bulgarian-imams-without-pay-08-10-2017
11 Aug 17

Frozen Turkish Funding Leaves Bulgarian Imams Without Pay

Bulgaria’s around 600 imams have been left without money for salaries since the country allegedly cancelled a funding agreement for Islamic education with Turkey, Bulgarian Grand Mufti’s Office says.

turkish-president-erdogan-to-visit-serbia-08-08-2017
09 Aug 17

Turkish President Erdogan to Visit Serbia

Gas pipeline and infrastructure projects could be discussed when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Serbia in September - but also issues that could be more difficult for Belgrade.

balkan-states-need-more-resources-to-fight-terror-report-warns-07-20-2017
20 Jul 17

US Report: Balkans Need Resources to Fight Terror

US State Department report say that while most Balkan states cooperate well with international partners to improve counterterrorism policies, they still have problems in terms of cooperation between institutions and in terms of limited resources. 

turkey-stays-top-of-albanian-holiday-destination-list-07-02-2017
03 Jul 17

Turkey Stays Top of Albanian Holiday Destination List

Albanians are continuing with their decade-long habit of holidaying in Turkey, though the Greek islands have started to become popular as well.

bulgaria-s-borissov-vows-to-normalise-the-eu-turkey-relations-06-13-2017
13 Jun 17

Bulgaria PM Vows to ‘Normalise’ EU-Turkey Relations

On a visit to Ankara, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov pledged to normalise the troubled relations between the EU and Turkey during the country’s EU presidency in 2018.

world-and-balkans-brace-for-erdogan-s-us-visit-05-16-2017
16 May 17

World Braces for Erdogan's US Visit

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s USA visit is expected to determine Turkish relations with key global and regional powers.

turkey-s-referendum-erdogan-declares-victory-opposition-disputes-results-04-16-2017
17 Apr 17

Erdogan Hails Victory in Turkish Referendum

Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has declared victory in a controversial referendum on granting him additional powers, but the opposition said it would challenge the unconfirmed result.

historic-referendum-will-shape-turkey-s-future-04-15-2017
16 Apr 17

Historic Referendum Will Shape Turkey’s Future

Turks go to the polls in a crucial referendum on Sunday, which will determine whether their already powerful President will become a virtual dictator or not.

nationalists-block-bulgaria-s-border-checkpoints-with-turkey-03-21-2017
21 Mar 17

Nationalists Block Bulgaria’s Border Checkpoints with Turkey

The nationalist United Patriots coalition blocked key checkpoints at the Bulgarian-Turkish border to prevent what it called ‘electoral tourism’ by Bulgarian Turks loyal to Ankara ahead of Sunday’s polls.

expert-downplays-turkish-threat-to-unleash-refuge-flood-03-17-2017
17 Mar 17

Turkish Threat to Scrap EU Refugee Deal Questioned

Minister’s threat to scrap readmission deal with EU and send thousands of refugees there each month deemed a ‘War of Words’.