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Turkey & EU to Discuss Visa Liberalization Process Next Month

Turkey’s visa liberalization process will be brought up again, with EU officials meeting again over the next month to discuss the process, as well as other high-priority topics such as immigration, home affairs and security.

The announcement was made by Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Faruk Kaymaki, reports.

According to him, the process of visa-free travel between Turkey and EU countries will allow more than 20 million citizens of Turkey to travel to European countries for tourism purposes and to participate in other sectors of European countries such as service, business and transportation sectors.

“We will also analyze whether we can provide a new perspective on the migration issue between Turkey and the European Union,” Kaymakci noted while stressing that providing funds to migrants and refugees in Turkey does not solve the problem.

On the subject, Kaymakci said earlier this month that “Turkey’s EU membership is not a fantasy but a strategic vision and it will be the most beneficial accession to the EU when the negotiating candidate Turkey meets the criteria for substantive membership.”

On 16 December 2013, the EU-Turkey Visa Liberalization Dialogue was launched, following the readmission agreement between the EU and Turkey.

The visa liberalization process aims to eliminate visa requirements for citizens of Turkey and allow them to travel to Schengen Area countries for short stays, specifically for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

In order to complete this process, the authorities in Turkey have constantly tried to meet the requirements requested by the European Commission; However, the process has not yet been completed.

Last year, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the EU should cancel visa requirements for Turkish citizens who plan to visit EU countries if they want to resolve the refugee and migrant situation at the Turkey-Greece border.

Previously, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed that the visa liberalization process with the countries of the Schengen area is among the country’s priorities.

Turkey is home to more than five million refugees, especially after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011. However, the issue of migration and refugees has sparked many discussions among the authorities in Turkey. Previously, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that if the EU did not grant visa-free access to Schengen countries to Turkish citizens, the government would suspend the immigration agreement reached with the EU in 2016.

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