In response to a written parliamentary question by Republican People's Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Sabahat Akkiray, Bağış also stated that the EU's insistence on imposing visa restrictions on Turkish citizens is an illegal practice.
Bağış recalled an incident involving Arif Sağ, a popular folk singer and former CHP deputy who had to cancel his concert -- which was organized to mark the 400th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and the Netherlands -- and return home because of lengthy questioning by officials at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.
He underlined that Sağ has a green passport, which allows him to enter the Schengen region without a visa, and added he was sure this was just a one-off incident and not the stance of the Dutch government. Bağış also stressed that the government would follow up with the Dutch authorities to ensure that appropriate action would be taken against the airport officials.
Pointing out that on June 21 the European Council adopted a conclusion that authorizes the EU Commission to start the process that would lead to visa exemption for Turkish citizens, Bağış underlined that this important development is a result of the collective and unwavering position of all public institutions, including the Prime Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the Interior Ministry.
“The EU should now keep its promises to Turkey and determine fair and objective criteria and adopt an objective stance while evaluating the progress that Turkey has made during the negotiation process,” Bağış said.