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Turkish Citizens Looking for a Way Out

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Published   04:59 AM 6 September 2016
Updated    05:01 PM 14 January 2022

Turkey is experiencing some of the worst political unrest in history. Today, more than ever, high net worth individuals are applying for citizenship and residency by investment programs to escape the country’s current nightmare.
After close to a million migrants entered Greece last year, the EU turned to Turkey for help. The inflow severely decreased after Turkey agreed to help stop the flow of migrants and to accept the return of those who entered Greece illegally.
In March this year, Turkey entered into their agreement with the EU. Their part of the agreement was to help stop or slow the flow of illegal immigrants entering into Europe from the Middle East. However, the EU seems to not be holding up their end of the deal where Turkish citizens should be given free travel into the EU as of October. The Turkish Minister Cavusoglu has warned that they will no longer stop the flow if the travel visa requirement for their citizens are not lifted.
If the agreement on visa liberalization does not come into force by the agreed deadline at the end of October, Turkey will abandon their part of the agreement and Europe will be faced with an overflow of migrants that they are currently not prepared to receive.
Turkey is currently hosting around 3 million refugees, with the majority coming from Syria. As the migrants are getting little to no government support there, part of the agreement with the EU was that 6 billion Euros would be provided in order to help with the Syrian refugees in Turkey.
In addition to the funds, the deal stipulated that for every Syrian who arrives illegally in Greece and is sent back, Turkey would be able to relocate one Syrian to the EU, with many being relocated to Germany and Sweden.
So why is the EU resisting on their side of the deal? Turkey is currently battling Islamic State and Kurdish militants both in Syria and at home, and President Erdogan is refusing to scale back on the anti-terrorism legislation that EU leaders say undermines their standards. Even if they did adjust, the EU may still be reluctant to agree to visa liberalization for the Turkish people given the current circumstances in Turkey.
On August 24th, Turkey launched the biggest military operation in Syria in order to force Islamic State militants away from its borders as well as to stop further advances by Syrian Kurds. At home, President Erdogan declared a state of emergency. Over 20,000 suspects were imprisoned and nearly 80,000 people were removed from public duty since the deadly July 15th coup attempt.
The European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stated that Turkey can still receive visa-free travel to the EU if all the conditions are fulfilled. Given the current security situation, however, Turkey is unlikely to change its anti-terror law and will thus not meet the conditions. A fallback on the agreement is bad news for both Turkey and the EU.
Turkey is making efforts to protect their economy from investors fleeing the country following the coup hostilities and the political disagreements with the EU. Turkish citizens have realized that they need a better plan, and moving away seems like the best option. Already, citizenship and residency by investment programs in Europe and North America have been receiving Turkish applications in increasing numbers. Everyone deserves the opportunity for a good future, and a better life for future generations. In its current state of decline, it’s no wonder that Turkish citizens are opting for a Plan B.

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