World News

Turkey says to halt EU migrant deal if no date given for visa-free travel

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will stop implementing an agreement with the European Union to stem the flow of migrants into the bloc if the EU does not provide a clear date to grant visa-free travel to Turks, EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik said on Tuesday.

In an interview with Turkey’s Haberturk television, Celik said asking Turkey to change its terrorism laws, a key demand from the EU to finalise visa-free travel, would mean endangering Europe’s own security.

Though much-criticised by rights advocates, EU’s migrant deal with Turkey helped sharply cut the number of refugees and migrants reaching European shores, giving EU politicians breathing space after around 1.3 million people reached the continent last year.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Patrick Markey