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 comes at a time when relations between Turkey and the EU are at a historical low point. The sources of tension are manifold, and have been compounded by a constellation of transformations in Turkey, Europe, and the international system. The global upswing in far-right populist movements, isolationism, the conflict in Syria and its humanitarian crisis, and the threat of ISIS have...
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