Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan claimed the agreement “will not be possible” unless the EU delivers on a promise that Turkish citizens will get visa-free access to mainland Europe.
And he hinted that the three million refugees currently in Turkey could even be allowed to head north into the EU unless his demands were met.
“The European Union is not behaving in a sincere manner with Turkey,” he said.
“If our demands our not satisfied then the readmissions will no longer be possible.”
Mr Erdogan said: “There are currently three million refugees in Turkey, and the only concern of EU member states is that those refugees do not reach their territories.
“The EU suggested that we accept the readmissions [of migrants coming from Turkey] in exchange for visa liberalization for Turkish citizens.
“The readmission agreement and the visa liberalization were to come into force simultaneously on June 1.”It is now August and the visa liberalization is still pending. If our claims are not met, we will have to stop readmissions.”
His warning will trigger fresh concerns that the surge of migrants from Syria and other parts of the Middle East over the Mediterranean Sea will continue unabated.
Under the deal, Turkey agreed to accept the return of migrants arriving on Greek Islands and other destinations in Europe.
In return, Turkish citizens were to be given visa-free access to the Schengen Zone, the passport check-free area in