"I don't know if things can move forward so fast but I fear that visa-free travel could have unforeseen consequences if the semi-authoritarian [President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan regime would escalate its war against the Kurdish minority inside Turkey. In this case, we could see massive flows of Kurdish refugees from South-Eastern Turkey being added to the flows of Syrian refugees," Kostas Chrysogonos said.
Brussels and Ankara drafted the EU-Turkey action plan in November 2015, under which EU member states pledged to pay Turkey 3 billion euros over the next two years and fast-track Ankara’s EU accession talks in exchange for efforts to limit migrant arrivals. A final agreement between the EU and Turkey is expected by the next summit on March 17-18.
The Kurds represent the largest ethnic minority in Turkey. Ankara is conducting a special operation to suppress the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the country, which has been fighting for independence of Kurdish territories from Ankara since 1984. The group, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization, seeks to create a Kurdish state in parts of Turkey and Iraq.