Press Release Regarding The Legislative Proposal Of The European Commission About The Visa Liberalization For Turkish Citizens

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 04.05.2016

No: 105, 4 May 2016

The EU Commission published today (4 May) the third progress report prepared in accordance with the Visa Liberalization Roadmap to enable Turkish citizens to travel within the Schengen area without visa.

The report points out that Turkey has made a considerable progress in a short time especially in terms of legislative achievements and operational measures and puts forward a legislative proposal to include Turkey in the list of “the Countries Exempted from the Schengen Visa” under the related EU Regulation.

In the aforementioned legislative proposal, the Commission communicated to the European Parliament and the EU Council that Turkey has made impressive progress, on addressing the Visa Liberalization Roadmap benchmarks and proposed the lifting of visa requirements for Turkish citizens to the Schengen area at the end of June 2016.

We welcome the report of the EU Commission. Due to the legislative proposal, the EU internal approval process has now begun for the decision on the visa-free travel for Turkish citizens. While the decision making process in the European Parliament and the EU Council will continue, in the meantime Turkey will maintain its efforts within the framework of the Roadmap.

This outcome which is a result of our decisive and dedicated efforts is satisfactory. Today, Turkish citizens are at the closest possible so far to visa-free travel to the EU. The visa-free travel of Turkish citizens to the EU will undoubtedly contribute to further deepen our economic and cultural ties. Visa liberalization will not only acquire a new dimension in our relations but also reinforce our multidimensional and half-century-old relations with the EU and the interaction and communication between the people of Turkey and the EU.

We wish that the approval process for the visa liberalization decision for Turkish citizens, initiated within the European Parliament and the EU Council will be completed successfully and visa requirements will be lifted in the Schengen area by the end of June 2016 as agreed during the third Turkey-EU Summit.

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