Erdogan: Turkey will block EU migrant deal without visa-free access

Turkey's parliament will reject a deal made with the EU to take back migrants if there is no progress on granting Turkish citizens visa-free access to Europe, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Tuesday.

"If the talks are fruitful, good. If not, then a step will have to be taken at the Turkish parliament, and the law regarding the implementation of the readmission agreement will not be ratified," Erdogan said in Istanbul, adding: "Why are you asking criteria of us?"

Ankara has agreed to take back refugees who used its territory as a springboard for reaching Europe in exchange for the visa deal, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the travel privileges will not be implemented by July 1 because the criteria have not yet been met.

The EU is pushing for Turkey to narrow its legal definition of terrorism, amid accusations that the law has been used to justify a crackdown on political opponents or journalists critical of the government. Erdogan has said such a change is not forthcoming.

Last update: Tue, 24/05/2016 - 18:20

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