'Islamist' Turkey issues EU visa ultimatum. (EUO).
Turkey's prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu has warned the migrant swap deal with the EU risks collapse unless visa restrictions are lifted on Turkish nationals by June as planned.
"I maintain my belief that, god willing, we will have the visa exemption in June. In the absence of that, then of course no-one can expect Turkey to adhere to its commitments," he said on Monday (18 April) in Ankara.
The statement comes ahead of a meeting in Strasbourg on Tuesday between Davutoglu and EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker at the assembly of the Council of Europe, a human rights watchdog.
The deal agreed with EU leaders in late March is supposed stop irregular flows of migrants to Greece by deporting people back to Turkey.
For every one person deported from Greece, an EU state would voluntarily resettle a Syrian refugee from Turkey.
But Turkey first has to meet some 72 technical requirements before the short-stay visa restrictions are removed in the passport-free Schengen zone.
The requirements are linked to document security, migration management, security, fundamental rights, and the readmission of irregular of migrants. As of last month, it had met around half of the conditions.
The European Commission, for its part, will on Wednesday present a review of how well the EU-Turkey migrant deal has been implemented as well as a separate progress report of its action plan with Ankara.
The EU executive is sending its vice-president Frans Timmermans to the Turkish city of Gaziantep on April 23 to discuss the deal where he will be joined by German chancellor Angela Merkel and EU council chief Donald Tusk. Hmmm......Giving Turkey free visa travel, equals giving ISIL free visa travel. Read the full story here.