News / Europe

EU, Turkey Take Step Toward Visa-free Travel

FILE-Turkey's European Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis (L) and European Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele after EU-Turkey accession talks, Brussels, Nov. 5, 2013.
FILE-Turkey's European Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis (L) and European Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele after EU-Turkey accession talks, Brussels, Nov. 5, 2013.
Reuters
The European Union took steps on Wednesday towards lifting visa requirements for Turkish citizens, in a move underscoring a new thaw in relations between Ankara and the 28-member bloc.
 
The two sides agreed to sign an agreement allowing EU governments to send back illegal immigrants crossing into Europe from Turkey. In return, the EU agreed to enter into official discussions on how the current requirement for a visa when travelling to Europe could be dropped.
 
Turkey, a candidate for EU membership, lies on a major route for illegal migration into Europe from Africa and the Middle East.
 
But talks on the "readmission agreement" to send back illegal immigrants have been stalled for years, largely due to Turkish distrust over the EU's willingness to ease visa rules.
 
"[The agreement] creates sustainable momentum in our relations that should first of all have the positive impact of putting accession talks back on track," EU enlargement commission Stefan Fuele told reporters.
 
In another sign of improved relations, Turkey and the EU began a new round of membership talks last month. Talks had been delayed by the bloc in protests over a Turkish crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.
 
Turkey began negotiations to join the EU in 2005, 18 years after applying. But a series of political obstacles, notably over the divided island of Cyprus, and resistance to Turkish membership in Germany and France, have slowed progress.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Demetra from: Cyprus
December 17, 2013 5:28 AM
So the EU is rewarding Turkey for turning a blind eye to their borders. Where do they intend to send the illegal immigrants to - the illegally occupied territory of northern Cyprus in an effort to increase the population there. How is it acceptable for an enemy to have a free visa to Cyprus?

by: josef copur from: sofia bulgaria
December 05, 2013 7:56 AM
no to any of you use illagel emigration no one is illagel when turkish steta refuse to give my birth certificate following if they forbeden l contag with my femily when bul garia cheating way tokked me from norway following informing that l dont heva a refugee status in bulgaria means no any of anti demokratic countries to eu. jesus say no to turkey to eu born deta,20.06.1969 village dayakpinar kurdistan region turkey

by: Maria from: USA
December 04, 2013 8:26 PM
Albert" from "Calgary" - the massacre of the Kurds happened recently... the massacre of the Greek Cypriots happened very recently... the desecration of Catholic Churches happens all the time in Turkey... the profanation of Orthodox Greek Churches happens all the time with the Turks. The rapes and murder of Christians is a constant theme in Turkey. Face it.
In Response

by: Albertan from: Calgary
December 10, 2013 3:31 PM
Dear Maria from USA;
First; please re-read my comment - you need to do that first. Second; what you mean by "face it" ?? Did I say they're innocent? NO I DID NOT. I do know the bloody history of Turkey, much much better than you. And i hate that. But forcing Turkey out of Europe, isolating her, will NOT improve the democracy and human rights in Turkey. Actually that will make things worse. Turkey that is well entegrated to the Western democracy and to the standards, will definetely stop those crimes. By the way its not just Christians who suffered from those crimes; Yezidis, Alevis, atheists, and even Muslims. Full democratic European Turkey is much better than the isolated, alone Turkey.

by: Nataly from: France
December 04, 2013 2:03 PM
the Turkys have desecrated The Basilica (Hagia Sophia) a Christian Church and converted it to a mosque to celebrate the massacre of the Christian population... just like the Muslims did with 9/11 Mosque in NYC. do not forget this!!!
In Response

by: Albertan from: Calgary
December 04, 2013 6:56 PM
That was back in 1453 !! I repeat; in 1453 !!! We are now in 2013 !!! Please wake up from those dusty European nightmares, and instead of using 560 years old excuses, focus on today. Christian or Muslim, they are part of the human history and all have done wrong things in the past.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs