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Turkey to Abolish Visas for Greek Cypriots, in Line with EU Deal

  • Reuters

FILE - A Turkish flag flies at the refugee camp for Syrian refugees in Islahiye, Gaziantep province, southeastern Turkey, March 16, 2016.

FILE - A Turkish flag flies at the refugee camp for Syrian refugees in Islahiye, Gaziantep province, southeastern Turkey, March 16, 2016.

Greek Cypriots will no longer require visas to visit Turkey under an EU-Turkey agreement on visa liberalization but this does not amount to Turkish recognition of Cyprus, a Turkish official said on Tuesday.

Turkey's Cabinet has approved waiving visas for EU citizens once the EU relaxes its visa requirements for Turks, according to a decision published in the Official Gazette. The move is one of the 72 criteria required by Brussels.

The official confirmed the deal would also apply to Greek Cypriots.

"This doesn't mean the recognition of Cyprus. If the EU abolishes visas for Turkish citizens, then we will also abolish visa for the remaining EU countries," the official said.

"Right now, Greek Cypriots can already travel to Turkey, but we are issuing their visa on a separate paper. With this new arrangement they won't need a visa."

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