Turkey Renews Call on EU to Lift Visa Requirements

Posted on 05 April 2012

The chief negotiator and European Union Minister for Turkey, Egemen Bagis, has once again called on EU executives to lift visa requirements for Turkish citizens. Bagis has formally written to European commissioners and the European Parliament as well as the European media, members of non-governmental organisations and think tank organisations, to ask for the visa requirements to be lifted in line with decisions made by the European Court of Justice.

According to Bagis, the implementation of the Schengen visa regime has prevented the improvement of relations between European nations and Turkish people, and the procedure has also prevented young Turkish people from making use of EU funds and projects. He also pointed out the visa procedures have prevented Turkish businessman from being as competitive in Europe.

Bagis feels that the strong economic growth seen in Turkey over the past decade has rendered the visa regime meaningless, and that many EU member states including the Netherlands and Germany have already recognised visa liberation for Turkish citizens who are now able to travel to these countries as tourists without any visa requirements.

Turkey’s accession to the EU has been somewhat delayed, but apparently negotiations are still continuing behind-the-scenes and some experts at speculating Turkey could be ready to join by as soon as 2015, especially as Turkey has already begun aligning its legal framework to comply with EU measures.

Recently the Turkish government opened its doors to the Ministry for EU Affairs, and this enabled it to learn more about the benefits of streamlining existing laws in line with those of other EU countries. It remains to be seen if it really can be ready to join the EU in just a few years’ time.

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