Turkey to intensify talks with EU on visa-free travel: Çavuşoğlu
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said talks with the EU over visa-free travel for Turkish nationals will be accelerated in the coming period, in a sign of improvement in Ankara-Brussels dialogue amid the former’s economic difficulties.
“We will intensify our works with the EU for visa liberalization,” he stated, in an address to Turkey’s ambassadors at an annual conference late Aug 15.
The minister’s statement comes as ties between Ankara and Brussels are in a normalization process especially after the latter’s support to Turkey in its economic row with the United States.
Çavuşoğlu informed he would meet with First Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans in the coming period, with whom he will discuss Turkey’s efforts to fulfill the remaining six criteria out of 72 for securing the Schengen visa waiver for Turkish nationals.
Ankara delivered its position paper to Timmermans on Feb. 7 with a road map on how it plans to fulfill required criteria “revising legislation and practices on terrorism in line with European standards.”
The most challenging benchmark for Turkey is the change in the law on counter-terrorism.
So far, Turkey has rejected making changes to its anti-terror law, stating it is under attack by the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will visit Germany on Sept. 28 and Sept. 29 where Turkey’s accession process will also be reviewed.