Erdogan: EU visa-free travel for Turks necessary by end of month

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country has reached the “end of the game” in its EU membership bid.

On Saturday, Erdogan warned Brussels that the time has arrived for the European Union to make its decision over Turkey’s presence in the bloc.

“If the EU is going to make Turkey a full member, we are ready. But they should know that we have came to the end of the game,” he said during a televised speech.

Ties between the EU and Turkey went sour following a failed July 15 coup, after which Ankara launched a heavy-handed crackdown on those it believed were responsible.

“There is no need to beat around the bush or engage in diplomatic acrobatics… It’s their (the EU’s) choice to continue the path with or without Turkey. They should not hold us responsible,” he added.

Erdogan also noted that October would be a significant month in EU-Turkey relations as “it is necessary” for visa-free travel for Turks into the Schengen Area be enforced in this month.

Refugees queue next to burned tents at the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, following the overnight fire on September 20, 2016.

In March, Brussels signed a controversial deal with Ankara to stop the flow of refugees in exchange for billions of euros in financial aid to Turkey and the lifting of short-term visa requirements for Turks.

Turkey has been trying to join the EU since the 1960s. Formal talks began in 2005. So far, only 16 chapters of the 35-chapter accession process have been opened for Ankara.

“The fact that our country has been kept waiting at the door for 53 years shows your (the EU’s) opinion towards us,” noted Erdogan.

By Press TV