14:58 GMT +315 December 2019
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    People disperse as Turkish police fire tear gas in Diyarbakir on February 27, 2016 during a demonstration against government-imposed curfews on areas of eastern Turkey

    EU Fears Visa-Free Deal With Turkey Because of Kurds' Oppression

    © AFP 2019 / ILYAS AKENGIN
    Middle East
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    Although the European Union has used the visa-free travel proposal with Turkey as a carrot in the migrant deal, it may not come to fruition because of EU fears of Kurdish migration.

    The abolition of visa requirements for Turkish citizens visiting the European Union is unlikely because of worries that it could trigger a wave of Kurdish migration, Turkish migration researcher Nilgün Arısan Eralp told Sputnik Turkiye.

    Turkey's Kurdish minority has historically been disadvantaged, and a new Turkish military operation, ostensibly against Kurdish militants led to population displacement. The aftermath of the operations led observers to compare the destruction of Kurdish towns in Turkey to that of cities in the Syrian conflict.

    "Even if Ankara fulfills all the conditions set by official institutions of the EU are likely to refuse Turkish nationals the abolition of the visa requirements. It is also associated with another fear that arose in European society. There is a growing concern over the fact that the abolition of visas for Turkish citizens may cause a serious wave of migration into Europe of the Kurdish population in the south-east of Turkey," Eralp told Sputnik Turkiye.

    She added that fears over terrorist attacks in Europe led EU countries to closer cooperation with Turkey on migration, while also looking at their own security infrastructure.

    "In Belgium, there is a problem that is associated with the Flemish-Walloons ethno-political conflict. It has been argued that the police units of the Flemish and the Walloons hardly keep in touch, do not interact with each other, which naturally has a negative impact on the effectiveness of the security forces. It required the adoption of more severe measures to ensure transport security," Eralp told Sputnik Turkiye.

    In addition, the terrorist attacks have led more people in EU countries to support far-right parties, as was recently seen in Germany, according to Eralp.

    "Unfortunately, this kind of terrorist attack reinforces support for the extreme right among the population," Eralp told Sputnik Turkiye.

    Eralp noted that for the time being, such a trend has yet to be noticed in Belgium itself.


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