Turkey visa deal will increase risk of terrorist attacks, EU report reveals0
Terrorists are more likely to attack European countries as a result of a controversial deal to allow Turkish citizens to travel across the continent without visas, EU leaders have admitted.
Foreign terrorists and organised criminals are “expected” to seek Turkish passports to reach continental Europe “as soon as” the visa waiver program comes into force, a European Commission report said.
The disclosure came as Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, warned that the decision to give Turkey visa-free travel is “perverse” and compared it to “storing gasoline next to the fire”.
Sir Richard also said that the EU will face a “populist uprising” if it fails to control migration.
Turkey’s 75 million citizens will have the right to enter the Schengen zone for up to 90 days at a time with biometric passports from the end of June if Ankara passes key anti-corruption and terrorism reforms.
The decision was part of a hastily-assembled deal brokered by Brussels to halt the flow of migrants from Turkey to Greece.
However, the European Commission report acknowledges the “increased mobility into the Schengen area of criminals and terrorists who are citizens of Turkey, or who are foreigners based in Turkey.”
It came as:
- Sir Lynton Crosby, the architect of the Conservative Party’s general election victory, warns that the Leave campaign “should spend less time arguing” about televised debates and instead focus on “delivering a clearer and simpler message” to voters.
- A referendum poll for this newspaper finds that Remain is now ahead on 51 per cent, with Leave trailing on 45 per cent of the vote.
- A new analysis found that European immigrants to Britain cost taxpayers £3 million a day last year.
- Boris Johnson said that EU migration is driving up A&E waiting times, as he claimed a Brexit would help end the “scandal” of long queues for emergency care.
- George Osborne said that a Brexit will see the UK miss out on £200billion a year of trade by 2030 and compared Leave campaign to conspiracy theorists who think the moon landing was faked.
The European Commission has recently also proposed visa-free travel deals with Kosovo, Ukraine and Georgia, which are blighted by organised crime.
“The proposed visa liberalisation for Turkish citizens travelling to the EU could potentially have an impact on the terrorist risk in the EU in as far as the movement of terrorists of Turkish citizenship to and from the Schengen area is concerned,” the report states.