The European Union and Turkey agreed on Sunday to speed up the country’s EU accession process if Ankara regularizes refugee flow to Europe 'as much as possible'. Chapter 17 on economy will be opened on December 14 and visa-free travel for Turkish citizens is expected to be implemented in October 2016 if Ankara meets certain criteria specified in an agreed roadmap.
The European Union will also give 3 billion euros ($3.1 billion) in funding to meet the needs of more than 2 million Syrian refugees in the country.
"These 3 billion euros are not given to Turkey. This amount is given to Syrian refugees; the main philosophy is burden sharing," Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said at a joint press conference with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker following a summit in Brussels on Sunday.
The Cyprus issue remains a major obstacle to Turkey’s accession plans, as several chapters are blocked by the Greek Cypriot administration.