Turkish citizens will gain the right to enter the EU without the requirement of visas if the European Parliament decides to remove a Schengen regulation that restricts Turkish nationals’ free movement in EU countries.
The European Parliament agreed to start an examination of visa requirements after Ankara-based Turkish lawyer Selim Sarıibrahimoğlu asked for a repeal of the regulations that require Turkish nationals to get visas under the Schengen system.
The EU adopted in 1997 the Schengen system, under which border controls within EU territories were abolished. In a 2001 agreement with the EU, Turkey was also included in the system. However, being classified as a country that needs visas to enter the EU is in contradiction with the Ankara Agreement, signed in 1963 between Turkey and the European Economic Community (EEC), which later changed its name to the EU. Turkey was defined as a country that didn’t need visas to enter the EU, according to an additional protocol to the Ankara Agreement signed in November 1970.
Asserting that the Schengen regulations go against Turkey’s acquired rights in 1963, Sarıibrahimoğlu petitioned, with the support of many chambers of commerce across Turkey, the European parliament on the issue.
Turkish commercial organizations, complaining about lengthy and costly visa application procedures, describe visa requirements as a major impediment to Turkish trade with Europe.
The European Parliament, accepting Sarıibrahimoğlu’s appeal as admissible in December 2011, will start examining the Schengen regulations on Turkey in accordance with his petition.
Sarıibrahimoğlu claims that in 2001, Turkish officials at that time made a crucial mistake of accepting the Schengen rules. He drew attention to the EU’s decision to grant visa-free status to Croatia while Turkey had to face visa restrictions by accepting the Schengen rules that same year. He claimed it is the right of Turkish nationals to have free movement in the EU zone in accordance with the Ankara Agreement and the additional protocol.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Ocak 2012, 21:05