12:41 GMT +317 February 2019
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    Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim at the Cankaya Palace in Ankara (File)

    Turkish PM Warns EU of Escalation of Refugee Crisis Unless Visa Regime Eased

    © AFP 2018 / ADEM ALTAN
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    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)
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    The EU refugee crisis might escalate further if Turkish citizens are not allowed to make visa-free trips to the bloc from October onward, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Friday.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) – Earlier in August, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that Ankara would scrap the EU-Turkey migrant deal if Turkish nationals were not granted visa-free access to the European Union's borderless Schengen area by mid-October.

    “The entry into force of the agreement to abolish visas for Turkish citizens traveling to the European Union, expected in October, must take place. If it does not, the issue of refugees will become a big problem for the European Union,” Yildirim said at a joint press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borissov.

    Borissov, in his turn, said that Bulgaria is among the EU countries affected most by the current migrant crisis.

    “There are very important months ahead. I hope that, working together, we will reach a solution that will suit everyone,” the Bulgarian prime minister said.

    According to the deal agreed on March 18, Turkey pledged to take back all undocumented migrants who come ashore in Greece if EU countries receive Syrian refugees resettled from Turkish camps on a one-for-one basis. The bloc also promised to accelerate the Turkish EU accession and introduce visa-free regime once Turkey meets the 72 conditions set by the bloc. Ankara has not fulfilled the five conditions that relate to data protection and anti-terror laws so far.

    Major Migrant Crisis in Europe (1819)


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