Saturday, 19 March 2011

Turks Still Trying to Extort Visa-free Status From Europe

The Turks are pushing hard to get visa-free travel in Europe and rather than laugh in their face and tear up their EU application, Europe's weak leaders are considering giving it to them. As leverage the Turks are using the proposed re-admission agreement which would see Turkey take back illegal immigrants who entered Europe through its territory, promising not to sign it unless a deal on the completely unrelated issue of visa-free travel is made.

"They might be two different issues, but for us they are connected," said Selim Yenel, deputy undersecretary for Bilateral Affairs and Public Diplomacy of the Turkish foreign ministry. "Unfortunately the EU must come to their senses.They have not done so Nothing is happening on the visa question and they want us to sign the re-admission agreement. Well sorry that is not going to happen."

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As a senior Turkish foreign ministry official put it, Brussels has to understand it can't have its cake and eat it, too.

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