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EU says Turkey must recognize Republic of Cyprus for visa free travel

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A report approved by the European Parliament on Wednesday says that Turkey must recognize the Republic of Cyprus so that its citizens will no longer be subject to visa restrictions in the Schengen area, the Turkish version of the Deutsche Welle has reported.

The report stresses that a prerequisite for launching negotiations with Turkey is that Turkey fulfill its horizontal obligation of full, effective and non-discriminatory cooperation with all Member States on justice and home affairs issues, including with the Republic of Cyprus.

This means diplomatic recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, which Turkey has refused to recognize since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and division of the island into Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot states in the mid-1970s.

A migration deal between Turkey and the EU in 2016 consisted of visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area. But the deal has not yet been implemented due to Turkey’s anti-terrorism law, which is among the EU’s benchmarks.

The report was approved on the recommendation of the European Commission for a European Council decision authorizing the opening of negotiations for an agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Turkey on personal data exchange requirements necessary for visa-free travel to Europe between the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) and competent Turkish authorities.

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