Erdogan says Turkey long overdue for Schengen visa deal

Turkish president also accuses European Union of being insincere in Turkey's accession process

Erdogan says Turkey long overdue for Schengen visa deal

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey is long overdue for a Schengen visa deal, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

In remarks made during a live televised program on state broadcaster TRT Sunday night, Erdogan accused the European Union of being insincere in Turkey's accession process.

"Actually, we are long overdue for the Schengen deal. We officially applied to be a member [of EU] in 1963, and during this process, they have always deceived us.

"They have never been sincere. And they are still not being sincere," Erdogan said.

EU and Turkey recently agreed on a new deal, according to which the bloc agreed to accelerate Turkey’s accession process in exchange for stemming refugee flows to Europe.

Refugees and asylum seekers seeking to enter Europe irregularly will be sent to Turkey starting from Sunday under the deal, Turkey’s EU Minister Volkan Bozkir earlier told Anadolu Agency.

For every refugee or asylum seeker sent to Turkey, a Syrian refugee from Turkish camps will be resettled in the EU. Those trying to enter Europe illegally will not receive the chance to be resettled in the EU, according to the terms of the deal.

EU is expected to accelerate Turkey’s accession process by opening chapter 33 on financial and budgetary provisions by June 30.

Ankara also requested visa-free travel for its citizens by the end of June and an additional three billion euros ($3.3 billion) to meet the needs of Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Last Mod: 21 Mart 2016, 09:13
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