Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu urged the EU on Monday (March 15th) to end visa requirements for Turkish citizens. The request came during a meeting with EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele, who was visiting Ankara for the first time since being elected to the post. The EU lifted visa requirements for three other countries — Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro — in December.
Fuele said Turkey must first meet two conditions: standardise passports to make them compatible with the EU’s system, and boost co-operation in preventing illegal immigration to EU countries through Turkey. Fuele and Davutoglu also discussed opening Turkey’s airspace and ports to Cypriot planes and ships and other protocols to normalise relations with Cyprus, a move that is crucial to advancing Turkey’s EU membership bid. Ankara is reluctant to do so until the EU ends the economic isolation of Turkish Cypriots.