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Developments in Turkey will not affect Georgia-EU visa-free travel

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, July 21
Georgia’s Ambassador to the European Union (EU), Natalia Sabanadze, claims the potential postponement of visa liberalization for Turkey will not affect Georgia.

The Ambassador said that even though legislative proposals on the visa liberalization of Georgia, Ukraine, Turkey and Kosovo were submitted at the same time, "they are connected to each other only procedurally, and not politically".

"Therefore, if a decision will be made on Turkey, it will not be directly related to Georgia’s visa liberalization and will not have any direct impact on it,” Sabanadze said.

According to her, consideration of the issue of Georgia’s visa liberalization will be resumed in the European Parliament from September.

Guenther Oettinger, the European Commissioner, has said that the European Union would not likely be granting Turks visa-free travel as previously agreed upon due to “Ankara's brutal crackdown” after the failed military coup last week.

The coup attempt left at least 232 people dead and 1,400 others wounded in Turkey.

The Turkish interior ministry dismissed almost 9,000 police officers on Monday as part of a purge of officials suspected of involvement in the coup attempt on July 15.

This had followed the arrest of 6,000 military personnel and suspension of almost 3,000 judges over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Turkish top officials are speaking about the necessity of restoration of the death penalty, which has already been assessed negatively by European leaders and organisations.

Foreign analysts believe if Turkey restores capital punishment it will close its door to the EU.

Turkey has demanded visa-liberalisation with the EU in exchange for accepting more migrants in the frame of an EU-Turley deal.

However, it has been highlighted that Turkey did not meet the various necessary preconditions for visa-free travel in the Schengen Zone.

Now, as foreign media and analysts state, even more questions have arisen in terms of the human rights situation in Turkey.

Turkey is Georgia's neighbour and partner; any confrontation in the country will be damaging for Georgia and the whole region.

With regards to the concrete issue of visa-liberalisation, it would be fair to say that unlike Turkey, Georgia has met all the visa-free travel demands, and this success has already been recognised by the European Commission.

Respectively, it will not be just if the current developments in Turkey negatively influence Georgia’s EU visa-free movement.