The head of the European Parliament questioned the abolition of the visa regime for Turkey


The head of the European Parliament Martin Schulz said that the EU expects Turkey to take “immediate” changes to anti-terrorism legislation. Otherwise, the possibility of introducing a visa-free regime for Turkish citizens makes policy a doubt, according to Deutsche Welle, citing an interview with Schultz building Welt am Sonntag, published on 29 may.

“Debate in the Turkish Parliament on amendments in relevant laws should start immediately. If this does not happen, European institutions can no longer adhere to the stated deadlines. In this case, I can’t imagine how it will be possible in October to introduce visa-free regime for Turkish citizens”, — said Schultz.

The EP President also commented on the statements of the authorities of Turkey that Ankara may cancel the agreement on refugees with the EU. According to Schultz, the threats are not “adequate political method”, and such statements of the Turkish authorities not only “will not work on the European”, but would have the opposite effect.

In early may, the European Commission suggested the European Parliament and the EU Council to lift visa regime with Turkey. This step was discussed in the framework of the deal by Brussels and Ankara to resolve the migration crisis. For the abolition of the visa restrictions, the Turkish authorities have until the end of June to fulfill the remaining five of the 72 points of the “road map”.

However, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara will not make changes to anti-terrorism legislation needed to meet the criteria of the agreement with the European Union on the abolition of visas.

Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she will support the introduction of a visa-free regime, if Turkey fulfills the condition for the return of illegal migrants. However, she stressed that the issue of Turkey’s admission to the European Union “is not on the agenda”.