Wednesday, May 4, 2016 - 14:20
Turkey almost ready for EU visa free travel, says Timmermans
Turkey almost complies to all requirements for visa free travel within the European Union, the European Commission announced on Wednesday. According to EU Commissioner and vice-president Frans Timmermans, the country "has made impressive progress, particularly in recent weeks", ANP reports. Timmermans added that there is still a lot of work to do, but he believes Turkey can do it. There are still five important issues for the country to focus on - Turkey needs to step up the fight against corruption, show better cooperation with Europol, get its laws around data protection and counterterrorism up to European standards and improve its biometric passports. Visa-free travel will only be allowed for Turks with a biometric passport, which contains fingerprints. In all other cases, the traveler will still have to apply for a visa, Timmermans said. Scrapping the visa requirement for Turks is one of the measures Europe agreed to in a deal made with Turkey on tackling the asylum crisis.