President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz has said that visa liberalization for Turkish citizens would not be implemented as long as Turkey does not carry out reforms in its anti-terror legislation.
Speaking to the Funke media group on Sunday, Schulz said he has not yet submitted a proposal from the European Commission on the visa-free regime for discussion by the European Parliament. “The document is still on my desk,” stated Schulz.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan often targets Schulz for his criticism of the measures that were taken after a failed coup attempt on July 15 including a debate to reinstate the death penalty.
In November, in a strong reaction to a threat made by Schulz to impose economic sanctions on Turkey, Erdoğan called Schulz disrespectful, daring him to do whatever he can and saying, “Who the hell are you?“
Senior European politicians are increasingly critical of a heavy crackdown on media and freedom of expression in Turkey and the massive purge that has been taking place particularly since July 15.
The antiterrorism law, however, has been a reform item on the agenda of Turkey and the EU for a longer time as one of the conditions for visa liberalization.