January 28, 2011
Turkey has been building its own visa-free area, resembling the EU borderless Schengen space, and dubbed Sham-gen (from al-Sham, or Bilad al-Sham, referring to the region bordering the eastern Mediterranean Sea, usually known as the Levant or Greater Syria, comprising modern Syria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Territories).
Indeed, Ankara established a visa-free regime with countries such as Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia.
As a result, Greece is experiencing considerable strain with a surge in the number of immigrants crossing its frontier. Apparently Bulgaria has difficulties joining the Schengen space, because of this new immigration pressure.
At the same time, Turkey wants the EU to lift the visa requirement for its citizens.
The question is: isn’t Turkey in fact on a collision course with the EU? Against the background of the stalled EU-Turkey accession talks, this maybe the case.Author : Georgi Gotev