Representatives of the European Union countries and the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs held three meetings in Ankara to streamline the process of issuing visas for Turkish citizens. Hurriyet Daily News reports this.
Meetings of high-ranking officials were held to discuss steps to be taken regarding the visa facilitation process for Turkish citizens.
In this regard, the European embassies promised to take further steps to resolve visa problems.
“We will try to increase the number of our staff and get technical support from visa intermediary agencies. We will also open an emergency visa channel, especially for the business world and students,” several embassies in Ankara assured in this regard.
Earlier it was reported that Turkish citizens face significant problems when applying for Schengen visas to travel to European countries. First, we are talking about the timing of consideration of applications and countless requests for additional documents.
According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s representatives, European countries’ authorities received a total of 1.2 million visa applications in 2019. During the pandemic – in 2020 – their number dropped to 200,000. Many EU countries closed their embassies and consulates, reducing staff, thereby artificially reducing the number of applications.
The total number of applications this year has reached 3.5 million, taking into account pent-up demand.
Last year, EU and Turkish officials discussed the visa liberalization process for Turkish citizens. The goal of the talks was to allow more than 20 million Turkish citizens to visit European countries for tourism, as well as participate in other industries in Europe, including business and transport. However, despite the constant attempts made in this direction, most of the issues have not been resolved.