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Turkey-EU clash is now just a matter of time

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has issued a series of warnings that Turkey will stop taking refugees back from the European Union if it fails to waive visa restrictions for Turks, signaling the two sides are on a collision course.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and EU Affairs Minister Volkan Bozkir (R) attend a joint news conference after a European Union-Turkey accession conference in Brussels, Belgium, December 14, 2015. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir - RTX1YNPC

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s warnings that Turkey’s refugee deal with the European Union will collapse if it fails to waive visa restrictions for Turks have become more frequent, almost routine in recent days, signaling a looming and serious crisis in Turkish-EU ties.

The emergency rule Erdogan declared after surviving the failed July 15 coup has meant the suspension of a series of basic rights and freedoms in Turkey, making the planned visa waiver even more difficult and hastening the course toward collision. The row was aggravated by a psychological factor as Erdogan feels anger and mistrust toward EU leaders who, according to him, failed to extend him adequate support after the putsch.

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