Turkey Tells EU: Provide Visa-free Travel or Abandon Migrant Deal

Visa-free access to the EU - the main reward for Ankara's collaboration in choking off an influx of migrants into Europe - has been subject to a string of delays.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, May 23, 2016.
Salih Zeki Fazlioglu, AP

REUTERS — The European Union should grant Turks visa-free travel in October or the migrant deal that involves Turkey stemming the flow of illegal migrants to the bloc should put be put aside, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a German newspaper. 

Asked whether hundreds of thousands of refugees in Turkey would head to Europe if the EU did not grant Turks visa freedom from October, he told Bild newspaper's Monday edition: "I don't want to talk about the worst case scenario — talks with the EU are continuing but it's clear that we either apply all treaties at the same time or we put them all aside." 

Visa-free access to the EU — the main reward for Ankara's collaboration in choking off an influx of migrants into Europe — has been subject to delays due to a dispute over Turkish anti-terrorism legislation and Ankara's crackdown after a failed coup.