The risk of refusal of entries at border gates to the European Union (EU) for Turkish citizens should be recognized, even if visa-free travel to EU is rendered possible, said Economic Development Foundation (IKV) General Secretary Çiğdem Nas.
Turkish society should be “well informed in this framework”, regarding the revived “visa-free travel” dreams in the country, speaking to DHA.
Ankara has asked for an extra three billion euros, as well as visa-free travel implemented by June 2016, during the crucial “migration summit” held in Brussels on March 7. While offering progress on accession talks with Turkey, the EU proposed to accept a Syrian refugee from Turkey, for each Syrian migrant returned.
According to the IKV Head, visa-free travel is “not impossible”. However, the General Assembly, Turkish government and ministries in question should swiftly fulfill 46 criteria demanded by the EU.
These criteria include strengthening of migration directorates, coast guard and border controls, as well as visa implementation to countries that are source of migration and law introduced in accordance with EU, such as data safety law.
Accepting Syrians to EU countries “a liability of international law”
According to Çiğdem Nas, Turkey giving consent to stop illegal crossing into Greek islands and to readmission of refugees is a significant step.
However, the outcome of the summit should be treated by recognizing international rights for protection of these people, who have fled the war in Syria, she underlined. “It is a liability imposed by the international law to accept Syrians to EU countries” she said.
Meanwhile, many EU countries have been “unwilling” to share the burden and the quota determined as 160 thousand people, Nas urged.
This situation makes the placement of Syrian refugees from Turkey’s camps to EU countries “a just but unrealistic goal”, she added.
Nas called on Turkey to make its assessment by “keeping the realities of the EU in mind”.
According to IKV Head Nas, Turkey’s demand to redouble three billion euros to help refugees was a “tactic to put pressure on the EU needing Turkey more than ever at this time”
“Turkey has spent around 10 billion dollars for refugees up to this point. If the EU wants Syrian refugees to stay in Turkey, as well as measures to integrate them into the country, the EU should share the burden” she said.