The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, announced on Wednesday that he has stopped procedures involving the liberalisation of visas for Turkish nationals.
Schulz informed reporters that he had not sent the necessary document concerning the visa liberalisation to the appropriate committee. He said that Turkey had failed to fulfill the 72 pre-requisite criteria that the EU had tasked her to implement in order to loosen visa restrictions.
The statements were made at a joint press conference following Schulz’s 45-minute meeting with the Turkish minister for EU affairs, Volkan Bozkir.
Bozkir insists that Turkey has fulfilled all her obligations, but due to the current situation in Turkey, “It is not possible for us to accept any changes to the counter-terrorism law,” Bozkir said.
Rights groups say Turkey has used broad anti-terrorism laws to silence dissent, including detaining journalists and academics critical of the government. Ankara insists the laws are essential as it battles Kurdish militants at home and the threat from Islamic State in neighbouring Syria and Iraq.
PS the logical consequence is to wait now for Turkey to start sending refugees boats to EUrope again, as Erdogan’s adviser threatened.
RIP EU Turkey Deal