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Turkey's EU Minister Not Hopeful Over Visa-Free Deal

Turkey's EU minister says he is not hopeful about the prospect of reaching a deal with the European Union on granting Turks visa-free travel to the bloc.

"At this stage I would not say we are very hopeful," EU Affairs Minister Volkan Bozkir told reporters in Brussels on May 13, following talks with EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn.

Bozkir said negotiations were at an impasse and the European Commission must find a "new formula" to solve it.

The EU insists Turkey must meet several key criteria, including reining in its broad antiterror laws.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has refused to do so and accused the bloc of setting new hurdles. He has threatened that Turkey may go its own way if they failed to agree a deal.

The EU and rights groups have accused Ankara of using its antiterror laws to intimidate journalists and stifle dissent.

The visa-free travel issue is part of a Turkey-EU deal aimed at easing Europe's migration crisis.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP