Turks in Britain worry about future of visa-free deal

Thousands of Turks have settled in Britain under the 1963 Ankara Agreement; many are now concerned about Brexit's impact

Turks in Britain worry about future of visa-free deal

World Bulletin / News Desk

Thousands of Turkish people living in Britain on a permit created by a special 1963 treaty are being told their situation will be “business as usual” during Brexit.

However, the U.K.’s moves to leave the EU are throwing up complex legal questions which could affect thousands of Turkish people living in Britain.

Turkey’s ambassador to the U.K., Abdurrahman Bilgic, said that those citizens living in Britain on a business document linked to the September 1963 Ankara Agreement would not see a change in their status while the U.K. negotiates its departure from the European Union.

Under the free-visa scheme, Turkish citizens are entitled to set up a business in the U.K. and live in the country with no further requirements.

It has been a very popular initiative, with up to 20,000 Turks now living in the U.K. under the Ankara Agreement.

However, Bilgic pointed out the Ankara Agreement was not a bilateral U.K./Turkey deal.

“Once the U.K. officially exits from the EU, it will not be a party to the Agreement, just like all the other agreements that the UK is a party to owing to her EU membership,” he said.

Bilgic said the Turkish government was “well aware of the concerns” among its citizens living in the U.K. after the Brexit vote and said regular meetings were being held with Home Office officials. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Şubat 2017, 11:27