Didem Atakan – MOSCOW Russia will not lift the visa regime for Turkish nationals as long as Turkey continues to host 3.5 million to 4 million Syrians on its lands, Sergey Markov, a former advisor to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, has said. Markov, who is also secretary general of the Turkish-Russian Public Forum, made the comments on Oct. 11 while addressing Turkish journalists at the Yunus Emre Institute in Moscow as part of the three-day-long SputnikPro event. The secretary general said Turkey has been granting citizenship to Syrian refugees, which may pose a “threat” for Russia, should the country decide to lift the visa regime for Turkish nationals. He said there was a high chance of “radicalized Syrians” undertaking “terrorist activities” in Russia and the country’s security forces would not approve of a visa-free regime valid for all Turkish nationals. “[Russian] Security forces are saying that as long as Turkey has 3.5 million to 4 million Syrians, there will not be a visa-free regime,” Markov said. Similarly, Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky has said a visa-free regime with Turkey was not on Russia’s agenda soon. “Refugees in Turkey are trying to cross to Europe. There are also radicalized refugees among… Read full this story
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