Turkey’s EU Minister Omer Celik has said that Ankara will present a new document in May regarding its visa-free deal with the EU which, if not accepted, would bring the refugee deal with the bloc to a halt.
In an interview with private news channel CNN Turk, Celik said that Turkey was doing its part in the agreement with EU. He said that the refugee deal between the two sides would continue if the EU accepted Ankara’s fresh offer that would be submitted in May.
“If they accept our proposal, the [refugee] deal will be completed in a positive way, otherwise it will come to a standstill,” he said.
While the plan has successfully reduced refugee flows, the European Commission has demanded that Ankara fulfils seven outstanding criteria out of a total of 72, including “revising legislation and practices on terrorism in line with European standards”. Ankara has repeatedly ruled out any such revision.
Celik said that it was Turkey’s right to be granted a visa-free regime from the EU since Ankara had fulfilled its part of the agreement.
He further stated that Turkey had rescued the European Union and its political map by taking care of millions of refugees.