The latest reports on the long standing discussions on visa free travel between Turkey and the European Union suggest that there will be no agreement between the two bodies by 2017. The European Parliaments Vice President Alexander Graf Lambsdorff said this week that visa free travel for Turkish citizens by 2017 are ‘unlikely’. The Vice President blames the Turkish President Recap Tayyip Erdogan for the latest stalemate after his latest comments on the reinstatement of the death penalty along with the detention of opposition journalists in the country. A German Member of the European Parliament is quoted as saying “"If Erdogan continues this way, then visa-free travel will move increasingly out of reach." There continues to be disagreement between the European Union and Turkey on anti terror laws in the latter which some are saying are being used to persecute innocent opponents to the current leadership. It has recently reported that Turkey had begun the introduction of biometric passports which was one of the last barriers to visa free travel to the European Union which had been put in place as one of the conditions of the agreement between the two parties as part of the migrant deal. However, the European Union are reluctant to go ahead with the deal until Erdogan addresses the issues of anti terror laws and freedom of speech curtailments. The Turkish authorities are becoming increasingly frustrated with the EU’s stance and have been reported as saying that the migrant deal will be automatically terminated unless the EU starts to implement the visa liberalisation that the Turks were promised as part of the arrangements. For now it seems that there is some way to go before the visa free travel for Turkish citizens to the Schengen zone is implemented and whether the migrant deal arrangements will hold much longer.
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