Turkey may suspend its agreements with the European Union if the bloc continues to apply “double standards” in the Turkey-EU negotiations of a visa-free regime as part of the EU-Turkey migration deal, an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday.
On Friday, Erdogan accused Brussels of hypocrisy for delaying the implementation of a visa-free regime for Turkish citizens, stating that the bloc has chosen to concentrate of simplifying it visa regimes for some Latin American countries instead. On the same day, EU interior and migration ministers agreed on an emergency brake mechanism that will make it easier to freeze visa-free travel deals with third countries.
“Turkey can suspend the execution of its agreements with the European Union, including the customs union, if the European Union continues its policy of double standards in its talks with Ankara,” Yigit Bulut told the TRT Haber public broadcaster.
In March, Brussels and Ankara agreed on a deal under which Turkey pledged to take back all undocumented migrants who arrive in the European Union through its territory in exchange for Syrian refugees accommodated in Turkey, on a one-for-one basis. In return, the 28-member bloc pledged to accelerate the Turkish EU accession bid and introduce a visa-free regime between Turkey and the Schengen Area.
In early May, the European Commission recommended a conditional visa-free regime between Turkey and the European Union, demanding that Turkey improve its legislation in relation to freedom of speech, fair judicial practice and minority rights protection. The European Parliament is due to vote on the matter in June.