Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu: Turkey is running out of patience

Friday, November 4, 2016

If the European Union doesn't provide visa-free travel for Turkish citizens shortly Turkey will withdraw from the agreement concluded in Brussels this spring said Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in an interview with Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

The European Union promised visa-free travel to Turkish citizens on condition that Ankara changes the controversial anti-terror legislation. The EU accuses the Turkish government of using the anti-terror legislation against the opposition and to silence journalists.

The Turkish government however, reluctant to give in to EU pressure and amend the controversial bill.

"We are running out of patience" Çavuşoğlu warned, adding that Turkey is waiting for the EU's response to the Turkish government’s proposal to solve the dispute.

The Turkish foreign minister said his country has responded to EU's concerns and proposed solutions. We observe the agreement and we expect the European Union to do the same; if the EU refuses to do the same we suspend the agreement he said.

When the foreign minister was asked how long the Turkish governments was willing to wait for a responce he said, "We do not wait until the end of the year…”

According to the refugee pact between Turkey and the European Union, immigrants entering Greece illegally can be automatically deported to Turkey if they do not submit an application for asylum to Greek authorities. But so far only a few hundred migrants have been sent back to Turkey.

(MTI –


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