News report | | 05/02/2018 | ±3 minutes reading time

Turkish citizens cannot travel to countries within the European Union without a visa. Likewise, travellers from inside the European Union need a visa to go to Turkey. This is because the European Union is refusing any deals regarding visa free travel until Turkey changes its laws concerning terror.

Consistent with legislation of the European Union

The Belgian minister of foreign affairs Didier Reynders has stated that Turkey needs to change its laws surrounding terror to be more in line with those of the European Union. Only if they agree to these legislative changes, will the EU be open to talks regarding visa free travel between the European Union and Turkey.

The minister stated that there needs to be a “real, proper evolution” in Turkey on the field of terrorism legislation. Turkey, on the other hand, insists that the laws against terrorism are necessary, due to the large number of safety risks present in the country.

The flag of the European Council and the European UnionThe flag of the European Council and the European Union

Criteria

Turkey had already sent a number of documents to the European Union in February, in order to prove that its legislation was in order. They wanted to prove that they met all the criteria in order to qualify for visa-free travel with the Schengen countries.

Part of the criteria is a piece of legislation regarding human rights. According to some EU countries, Turkey has not done enough to safeguard the human rights of its citizens.

‘Good neighbor’

Johannes Hahn, who deals with the expansion of the European Union, refers to Europe as a ‘good neighbor’ to Turkey. According to Hahn, Turkije knows that Europe is basically its most reliable and predictable neighbor, and the country is aware of the risks of cooling relations.

Hahn feels Turkey is not on the right track yet, stating that “The situation remains unacceptable” in an interview with The Daily Express.

Negative travel advice

In February, the Foreign Office issued a negative travel advice for Turkey. Among other things, it was discouraged to cross the border at Habur. British travellers with the Turkish nationality often have to deal with interrogations there, which can even lead to legal action being taken by the authorities. The traveller is held in temporary custody in those cases, and legal aid isn't always freely available.

State of emergency

After the attempted coup in 2016, a state of emergency was declared across all of Turkey This is still in effect. Don’t take part in any demonstrations, avoid large groups of people and busy places. Want to know more? Read if it’s safe to travel to Turkey.

The government also recommends avoiding travelling to the border areas with Syria and Iraq. The region around Afrim in particular is very dangerous. Only travel to these areas if it is absolutely necessary. Avoid the southeast of Turkey. Always keep a close on on local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Turkey visa

If you want to travel to Turkey, you need to possess a valid passport and a Turkey visa. You might be asked for these documents on multiple occasions. The passport needs to have at least one empty page and be valid for a minimum of 150 more days from the moment of arrival in Turkey.

The visa can be purchases online, at a cost of £49,95 per person. It is also possible to apply for multiple visas at once. It’s important to know that babies and children each need to have their own visas. Applying for a Turkey visa online only takes about five minutes.

In urgent need of a visa? Then you can submit an urgent application. The normal application form can be used for this; simply check the ‘urgent delivery’ option. The urgent Turkey visa is then issued within 15 minutes.