Turkey has threatened to re-open the floodgates of mass migration to Europe unless Turkish nationals are granted visa-free travel to the European Union. The EU agreed to visa liberalization in a March 2016 EU-Turkey migrant deal in which Ankara pledged to stem the flow of migrants to Europe.
European officials insist that while Turkey has reduced the flow of migrants, it has not yet met all of the requirements for visa liberalization. Moreover, EU foreign ministers on July 15 decided to halt high-level talks with Ankara as part of sanctions over Turkish oil and gas drilling off the coast of Cyprus.
In an interview with Turkish television channel TGRT Haber on July 22, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey was backing out of the migrant deal because the EU had failed to honor its pledge to grant Turkish passport holders visa-free access to 26 European countries. “We have suspended the readmission agreement,” he said. “We will not wait at the EU’s door.”
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