Turkey’s Prime Minister Warns EU to Stick By Visa Free Travel Promise

Parliamentary Assembly Session April 2011Session de l'Assemblée parlementaire avril 2011Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Monday warned the European Union to stick by a promise of visa free travel for Turks by June this year, saying otherwise Ankara would not abide by its commitments under a key migrant deal.

Turkey earlier this year agreed a series of measures to help the EU stem the flow of migrants from Syria and other troubled countries to European shores, in exchange for the promise of visa free travel and a boost for Ankara’s longstanding bid to join the bloc.

“This is a mutual commitment. If the EU cannot take the necessary steps required of it then of course it cannot be expected of Turkey to take these steps,” Davutoğlu told reporters at Ankara airport before heading to Strasbourg.

“I maintain my belief that, God willing, we will have the visa exemption in June. In the absence of that, then of course no-one can expect Turkey to adhere to its commitments,” he added.

“Turkey is a serious interlocutor. It does what is has promised and will allow no concessions on what it has been promised,” he added.