TODAY’S – Tourists suffer due to Turkish ‘e-visa’ system

Tourists suffer due to Turkish ‘e-visa’ systemSome tourists in direct flights to famous Turkish resorts such as Bodrum and Dalaman are experiencing difficulties at border gates because a newly implemented Turkish visa obtainable online is only applicable for entry at airports in the provinces of Ankara and Istanbul.The andldquoe-visaandrdquo system started by the Foreign Ministry in April last year was intended to ease the visa application process for foreign visitors however, the system — still in its pilot phase — has caused widespread confusion.

Since the E-visa is only valid in Ankaraand#39s EsenboIa and Istanbuland#39s Ataturk and Sabiha Gken airports, foreign visitors who acquired a Turkish visa over the Internet are not able to enter the country via Bodrum and Dalaman airports with these online visas. Some foreign visitors have even had to return to their home countries.

Tour operators are unhappy with the latest problems, saying that the authoritiesand#39 decision to restrict the pilot scheme to Istanbul and Ankara undermines the tourist potential of some of Turkeyand#39s major tourist attractions.Each year, Turkeyand#39s beach resorts attract millions of tourists.

The e-visa system has helped ease the intense load of paperwork previously necessary at Turkish consulates and embassies abroad and passport control gates. Citizens of the countries for which Turkey imposes visa controls can obtain an e-visa via the Internet before their journey only if they plan to pass Turkish border controls at airports in Ankara or Istanbul.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman