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Turkey viewing EU’s annotated road map

15 July 2013

Turkey is working on an “annotated road map” proposed by the EU. It modifications include visa liberalization for Turkish citizens in exchange for the signing of a Readmission Agreement by Turkey. Ankara has currently been drafting its unilateral annotations to add to the proposed roadmap.  The revised road map will include demands that the Turkish government has insisted on, such as simultaneous implementation of the Readmission Agreement for third country nationals and the start of the visa-free regime for Turkish citizens.

The foreign, interior and EU ministries held a meeting July 12 for the wording of the “annotated road map,” which Turkey will send the European Commission later, and agreement is expected be signed by the parties during a visit of European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström to Turkey in late July.

The formula came to a deadlock on talks when the EU insisted that Turkey signs a readmission deal on illegal immigrants before the 28-member bloc started talks to facilitate visa requirements for Turkish nationals.

Turkey is shying away from ratifying the Readmission Agreement, saying the EU should start implementing visa facilitation for Turkish citizens with the eventual aim of lifting visa requirements because the Readmission Agreement would put an additional burden on Turkey, as it would have to accept repatriation of the thousands of people who illegally migrated into European countries crossing through Turkish territory.

The European Council authorized the European Commission to begin visa liberalization talks with Turkey, and a roadmap was presented to Turkey in 2012.

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