Turkey has submitted EU visa liberalisation documents – presidential spokesman

Turkey has submitted the required documents to demonstrate to the European Union that it has met the 72 criteria for visa-free travel within the Schengen zone, presidency spokesman İbrahim Kalın said on Wednesday.

The announcement was the culmination of a flurry of activity following a statement on Tuesday by Turkey’s ambassador to the European Union, Faruk Kaymakçı, who said Turkey could carry out the reforms necessary to meet the criteria within a year, to an announcement on Wednesday morning by EU Affairs Minister Ömer Çelik who said the documents would be ready in a day or two.

"Turkey has fulfilled all obligations laid out before it. In our opinion, all 72 criteria have been met," Çelik said on Wednesday.

His words were in contrast to those of Kaymakçı, who said on Tuesday that Turkey still did not fulfil the criteria on the redefinition of terrorism.

In order to meet criteria 65, Turkey must “revise … the legal framework as regards organised crime and terrorism, as well as its interpretation by the courts and by the security forces and the law enforcement agencies, so as to ensure the right to liberty and security, the right to a fair trial and freedom of expression, of assembly and association in practice”.

All 28 EU countries, plus the European Parliament, must agree that the above criteria is met in order to trigger visa liberalisation.