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 Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.