Turkey signs historic migration agreement with EU
Turkey signed an agreement with the European Union Monday that allows EU governments to deport illegal immigrants in EU coming from Turkey back to Turkey, according to Reuters.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom signed the deal at a ceremony in Ankara that calls for the EU and Turkey to enter into discussions on the immigration legislation, including stipulations that would allow Turks to visit Europe without visas.
Previously, discussions on the "readmission agreement" that would allow EU to deport illegal immigrants back to Turkey have been delayed for the past few years due to Turkey's growing distrust over EU's seriousness in revising visa regulations for Turks. Monday's deal is thus significant because it highlights a move away from this distrust and a potential "thaw" in Ankara's relation with the EU.
Turkey initially started negotiations to join the EU in 2005 and originally applied for EU membership in 1987, but disputes over its role in Cyprus as well as German and French opposition, have continued to stall Turkey's bid.