EU and Turkey attempt to ease tensions

A meeting between EU foreign ministers and the Turkish minister of European Affairs Ömer Çelik on 2 September as well as a meeting between EU officials and Turkish president Erdogan following the G20 summit on 4-5 September removed some concerns about the Turkish commitment to the migration deal with the EU.

President Erdogan still used some harsh words at the G20 summit, calling the West racist in their way of dealing with the refugee crisis and accusing the EU of demonstrating a lack of solidarity after the failed Turkish coup in July. However, the EU-Turkey migration deal seems not to be in danger. Erdogan has agreed to relax the demands for EU visa liberalisation for Turkish nationals, for which the deadline had been set in October this year. Turkey is nevertheless expecting the visa liberalisation to be accomplished by the end of 2016.

In return, the EU continues to insist on a change in the current anti-terror law in Turkey. In this process the EU seems to be increasingly willing to come closer to Turkey, recognizing its importance as an international partner.

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