23:30 GMT +323 October 2019
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    EU Commission: Turkey Meets Less Than Half of Visa-Free Regime Conditions

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    Ankara has fulfilled less than half of the EU requirements, which are necessary for introduction of a visa-free regime for short-term trips of the Turkish nationals to the European Union, Marta Cygan, the director in the European Commission's migration and home affairs department, said Thursday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — On May 4, the European Commission is expected to present its progress report on Turkey’s implementation of the deal. If Turkey fulfills all the terms, the Commission may recommend to pave way toward visa-free travel for Turkish nationals by June.

    "The Turkish authorities evidently have been accelerating the adoption of legal and administrative reforms allowing them to fulfill the requirements <…> We refer to 72 benchmarks and we say 35 of them are fulfilled or almost entirely fulfilled," Cygan said in the European Parliament.

    In March, Brussels and Ankara agreed on a deal under which Turkey pledged to take back all undocumented migrants who arrive to the European Union through its territory in exchange for Syrian refugees accommodated in Turkey, on a one-for-one basis.

    In return, the European Union pledged to provide a total of 3 billion euros (over $3.3 billion) to Turkey to help it deal with refugees, with a possible further 3 billion-euro provision in 2018. The 28-member bloc also agreed to accelerate the Turkish EU accession bid and introduce a visa-free regime between Turkey and Europe.



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