The Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has resumed talks with the European Union regarding visa-free travel. He wants to speed up talks, so that Turkish nationals can travel without a visa within the European Union. It is a sign of improvements in the relationship between Ankara and Brussels, after previous economic difficulties.
“We will be working more closely with the European Union to make visa liberalization a reality”, says the Turkish minister in a statement. That statement was sent to the Turkish embassy, which held their yearly conference on 15 August.
It is not surprising that the minister has started talking about visa-free travelling now. Relations between Ankara and Brussels are slowly being repaired, after Turkey found themselves in an economic conflict with the United States. It is a great moment to tighten relations, says a European diplomate: “Erdogan is learning who the real enemies are - and it’s not Europe.”
The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, also points at the importance of good relations between the EU and Turkey: “Turkey does not need to fear her European neighbours. We only want to see a democratic, stable and prosperous Turkey.”
Talks with Timmermans
Çavuşoğlu has said he will be meeting with Eurocommissioner Frans Timmermans in the near future. They will mainly be talking about Turkey’s effort to meet the last six criteria of the Schengen Agreement. Turks can then enter and leave European countries much faster.
On 7 February the government in Ankara handed a document to Timmermans explaining their plan on how to meet the criteria. Turkey is mainly struggling with the rules surrounding terrorism, and how to bring them in line with the European standards.
The biggest challenge for Turkey is to change the law regarding counterterrorism. Until now, the country has stopped each attempt to change the law, with the claim that it is being attacked by the Fethullahlist Terror Organization (FETO), the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK) and Islamic State (IS).
If Turkey will have a change to push through visa-free travel will be known in the future. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will bring a visit to Germany on 28 and 29 September.
In 2018 and 2019: a visa application for Turkey
Apply for the visa on time!
Those who wants to travel to Turkey in 2018 or 2019 require a visa. That applies both to tourist as well as business travellers. The rule also applies to underage children; they are only allowed in if they possess their own visa. Those who do not possess a valid visa are stopped at the passport check after arrival in Turkey.
Turkey visa application
A Turkey visa can be applied for online. An e-visa is a digital travel permit from the Turkish government to visit the country. The digital visa is sent by e-mail.
To visit Turkey with an e-visa, a number of rules apply. For instance, the traveller needs to bring a passport (or, for some countries, an ID card) along, and the trip needs to have a tourist or business purpose, and the traveller cannot enter into service with a Turkish employer or study at a Turkish educational institution. The passport needs to be valid for at least 150 more days after entering Turkey.
A visa is valid for 180 days. Staying in Turkey is allowed for a maximum of 90 days. It is important to follow the rules to avoid fines, deporting or an entry ban
Those leaving for Turkey today or tomorrow can submit an urgent application. These applications are processed with urgency and can be approved within 14 minutes. It is important to print the e-visa and bring it along on the trip.