Turkish Parliament Paving the Way for Visa-Free EU Travel!

turkey-eu-handsThe Turkish Parliament June 25 ratified the Readmission Agreement between Ankara and Brussels, in a step welcomed by top EU officials.

“One more important step to a visa free regime for Turks travelling to the EU,” EU Enlargement Commission Stefan Füle said via his Twitter account. Turkey signed the long-anticipated agreement with the bloc in December 2013, refreshing hopes for new momentum in stalled bilateral relations between Ankara and Brussels.

The landmark agreement paves the way for EU governments to send back illegal immigrants crossing into Europe from Turkey in exchange for talks on visa-free travel for citizens of the country, which is a candidate for full membership. The aim of the EU-Turkey visa liberalization dialogue is to make progress toward the elimination of the obligation for a visa, currently imposed on Turkish citizens travelling to the Schengen area for a short term visit. Its implementation will begin three years after the Parliament’s ratification.

“I welcome today’s ratification by the Turkish Parliament of the Readmission Agreement signed in December, as it represents a significant step forward in cooperation between the European Union and Turkey,” Cecilia Malmström, EU Home Affairs Commissioner, said in a statement. “The agreement reflects our shared interest for more effective migration and border management, setting out clear obligations and procedures for the authorities of Turkey and EU member states in order to swiftly return persons who are irregularly residing on their EU territory, in full respect of International Law and fundamental rights,” she added.

The financial burden of readmission is on Turkey’s shoulders, but the country will establish shelters and facilities for migrants sent back by European countries with funds provided by the EU