Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

 

Today Turkey is the only EU candidate country whose citizens are obliged to obtain a Schengen visa before being allowed to enter the EU. This is a source of intense frustration for Turkish citizens and officials alike. So far the EU has refused to offer Turkey a visa liberalization process like the one that it conducted with Western Balkan countries a few years ago, and which it is now conducting with Moldova and Ukraine. This process requires a country to carry out reforms that help protect the EU’s external borders; in return, the visa requirement is lifted. The EU’s refusal runs counter to its own security interests. The Turkish-Greek border is the main gateway to the EU for irregular migrants. The EU needs Turkey’s full cooperation in order to reduce illegal migration to the EU – but it needs to offer something in return. A visa liberalization process would also be smart in view of a growing number of court decisions that have declared the visa requirement for Turkish nationals illegal in certain cases. Such a process would radically improve EU-Turkey relations and inject new momentum into the flagging accession process.
 
 
CONTRIBUTOR
Alexandra Stiglmayer
Alexandra Stiglmayer
From the Desk of the Editor This issue of TPQ takes up a myriad of issues that the Middle East is grappling with today: from protracted conflicts and the increasing complexity of proxy wars, to changing regional blocs and emerging powers. The Arab uprisings of 2011 remain an important fulcrum for the changing political landscape of the Middle East, and as many of our authors contend, the underlying problems and basic drivers...
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