15-04-2024 02:55 AM Jerusalem Timing

EU Commission Backs Turkish Citizens’ Visa-Free Travel

EU Commission Backs Turkish Citizens’ Visa-Free Travel

EU Commission says Turkey met most of 72 criteria needed and invites legislative organs of the bloc to endorse the move.

EU-TurkeyEU Commission says Turkey met most of 72 criteria needed and invites legislative organs of the bloc to endorse the move.

The European Commission has recommended the European Union to allow Turkish citizens to travel freely through the Schengen countries without visas.

The EU’s executive organ said Turkey has met most of the 72 criteria needed for a visa waiver, and it invited legislative institutions of the bloc to endorse the move by June 30.

Turkey says visa-free travel could mark 'new page' in EU relations
   
Visa-free travel for Turkish citizens to the European Union can herald a "new page" in Ankara's relations with the bloc, Turkey's foreign minister said Wednesday, after the European Commission gave conditional backing to the move.

"In addition to being a turning point for visa free travel for our citizens... this decision is a new page in the process ahead of us in relations with the European Union,"  Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara.

He reaffirmed Turkey's longstanding goal to achieve full membership of the European Union, after several years where the process has stalled causing impatience in Ankara.

"Our goal is full membership... We are waiting for the same sincerity from the European Union," he said.

"We (Turkey and the EU) should understand that we don't need each other only in times of crisis," he added.

"Turkey and the EU needed each other yesterday, we need each other today more than yesterday and tomorrow even more than today," he added.

Turkey's EU Affairs Minister Volkan Bozkir said that he expected Turks to benefit from visa-free travel to the Schengen area of the European Union "God willing" from the targeted date of June.