German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday that she was hopeful that the EU and Turkey will be able to resolve their differences over visa-free travel for Turks saying, "Discussions with the European Commission are very intensive and are continuing," Merkel's words came after a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, adding that "an agreement is likely still several weeks away."
Turkey's EU Minister Ömer Çelik made it clear that a readmission deal will not be put into practice if the EU does not give Turkey an exact date for visa liberalization. Speaking after the meeting with the EU's 28 foreign ministers in Bratislava, Slovakia on Saturday, Çelik said that Turkey and the EU will have to find new ways to tackle the influx of refugees if the situation deteriorates any further, underlining that Ankara will opt out of the readmission deal if the bloc does not approve visa-free travel for Turks. "The [migrant] mechanism will not be enough ... so we need a new mechanism," Çelik noted, going on to say: "And if [there is] no liberalization, Turkey will not act positively in setting up a new mechanism."
Meanwhile, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported on Sunday that Turkey now says it is willing to accept the liberalization deal with the EU by the end of the year instead of October, as previously targeted. Citing "senior Turkish government sources" the German newspaper claimed that EU Minister Çelik downplayed that prospect on Saturday after a meeting with EU officials and delay until November or December was now seen as acceptable by the Turkish side.
Speaking to Daily Sabah, a senior official from the Turkish EU Ministry denied the report from Welt am Sonntag and underlined that there is no chance that Turkey's stance will waver regarding this matter. "Turkey's stance on the visa liberalization deal has not changed. Minister Çelik made it clear even last Saturday," a senior official from the EU Ministry said. Responding to a question on whether they issued a correction about the claims of the German paper, the same official said that the report was based on their perception not the facts while adding that Minister Çelik does not care to respond to stories with unnamed sources.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.