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Latest Situation in the Schengen Visa Crisis: Turkey’s Demands and the European Union’s Response


Latest Situation in the Schengen Visa Crisis: Turkey’s Demands and the European Union’s Response

Contacts regarding the problem continue between Türkiye and EU representatives, but the situation has not yet reached the level Ankara wants. Schengen visa crisis continues; What point has been reached in the last negotiations, what did Türkiye want, what is the EU doing? Latest Situation in the Schengen Visa Crisis…

According to the special news of Metin Kaan Kurtuluş from T24, although it has been on the agenda for a long time, Turkish citizens continue to suffer from Schengen visa. While some Turkish citizens who dream of Europe for the holiday are experiencing the nightmare of a Schengen visa once again, Ankara’s attempts to resolve the process continue.

Pandemic-Induced Disruption: European Diplomats Point to Covid-19 for Schengen Visa Disruptions

Schengen vizesi krizi sürüyor; son görüşmelerde hangi noktaya gelindi, Türkiye ne istedi, AB ne yapıyor? Schengen Vizesi Krizinde Son Durum...
Schengen visa crisis continues; What point has been reached in the last negotiations, what did Türkiye want, what is the EU doing? Latest Situation in the Schengen Visa Crisis…

While European diplomatic sources argue that the disruptions in Schengen visas are due to the backlog caused by the work stoppage during the Covid-19 pandemic, they argue that a political reason should not be sought behind the increasing rejections.

Congestion in Visa Procedures: Lack of Personnel in EU Missions and Problems Encountered in Applications

European sources emphasize that due to the backlog, the employees of EU missions in Turkey cannot meet the visa requests, and also that in some applications, not enough documents are provided for the visa requirement. On the other hand, some experts say that the fact that EU countries do not increase the number of visa department employees despite the Schengen visa problem that has been going on for years in Turkey may indicate a reaction.

Optimism Rising: Some EU Countries Aim to Overcome Visa Backlog by the End of the Year

Although sources do not provide an exact date for the solution of the crisis, they believe that the backlog can be overcome significantly towards the end of the year, especially in some EU countries. According to T24’s conclusion; Some European countries, where Turks apply for visas extensively, are making preparations to increase the number of visa department employees.

Ankara’s Perspective: Negotiating Visa Procedures – EU Readmission Requests

AB'den Türkiye'ye Vize Serbestîsi Açıklaması
Statement on Visa Liberalization from the EU to Turkey

The understanding in Ankara is that European Union countries also want to keep the visa status as a “trump card”. It is said in the lobbies that one of the EU’s demands against visa facilitation is for Turkey to take back some Turkish citizens who have applied for asylum and are currently in Europe.

Diplomatic Initiatives Gaining Speed: Meetings Between Turkish and EU Ambassadors on Schengen Visas

Official sources providing information to T24,It was reported that Turkey held a series of meetings with the Ankara ambassadors of the European Union countries on Schengen visas and that ideas were exchanged during these meetings.

According to the information provided, Turkey initially suggested reducing the quantity of documents requested for Schengen visa applications and giving priority to some professional groups, students and those with special circumstances.

It was learned that during the meetings, Turkey also suggested that EU countries increase the number of personnel in their missions.

Trust Building Steps: Changes in Turkey’s Visa Regime and Its Message to the West

On the other hand, it seems that Turkey is trying to gain confidence in the West with the changes it has made in its own visa regime. Finally, last week, Turkey ended the liberal visa regime with Tajikistan, where the attackers of the theater in Moscow and the Santa Maria Church in Istanbul were citizens.

Official sources stated that after the meetings with EU representatives, a slight acceleration was observed in the visa issuance process, according to the data they had. However, it appears that progress has not yet been achieved at the level Ankara wants.

Türkiye’de turizm amaçlı seyahat için Schengen vizesi almak isteyenler, iData ve VFS Global gibi aracı şirketler kullanmaya mahkûm.
Those who want to obtain a Schengen visa for tourism purposes in Turkey are forced to use intermediary companies such as iData and VFS Global.

Visa Obstacle in Tourism Travels: Situation of Turkish Citizens Applying for Visa via iData and VFS Global

While various steps have been taken to overcome the situation regarding Schengen visas in the capital, citizens continue to face new difficulties in their applications.

Those who want to obtain a Schengen visa for tourism purposes in Turkey are forced to use intermediary companies such as iData and VFS Global. These companies deliver documents that citizens have already collected to consulates and embassies. The brokerage firm charges the applicant a fee for this delivery and control of the documents.

Appointment Confusion in Visa Application: Citizens Turn to Consultancy Services with Additional Fees

However, lately, citizens have been frequently expressing other problems. People have difficulty finding an appointment to apply for a visa, so they have to work with another intermediary company or “consultant” to apply; They also pay an additional fee for this. It is understood that the companies stated to provide this “visa consultancy” service make appointments in advance, so citizens have a harder time finding an appointment slot. As a result of this not being prevented or turned a blind eye, some of the citizens end up paying money to an intermediary when they cannot find any other way to find an appointment.

Facing High Costs: Schengen Visa Fees and the Additional Burden of Consulting Services

Schengen Vizesi Krizinde Son Durum
Latest Situation in the Schengen Visa Crisis

These companies, which provide “consultancy” services, demand an average fee of 300 to 400 Euros, including the intermediary company and application fee. Under current conditions, citizens already have to pay 80 Euros for the Schengen visa application and a fee of over a thousand liras for the intermediary company. While the fee for an application that has no guarantee of a positive outcome is already high, people pay large sums of money to an intermediary just to get an appointment.

EU-Türkiye Relations and Visa Issue: Addressing the Visa Issue in the ‘Borrell Report’

The visa issue was also discussed in the Commission report on EU-Turkey relations, which is also known as the “Borrell report” because it was prepared by the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policies Josep Borrell and the EU Commission.

The commission report suggested that member states investigate steps that could be taken to facilitate visa applications for certain Turkish citizens. It is recommended that this group includes business people, students, family members and Turkish citizens living in European Union countries. “This should also include taking full advantage of the flexibilities of the Visa Code to enable the issuance of multiple-entry visas with long validity,” the relevant part of the report said.

Obstacles on the Way to Visa Liberalization: Disagreement on the Criteria Specified in the ‘Borrell Report’ and the Anti-Terrorism Law

Avrupa Parlamentosu'ndan Airbnb Düzenlemesi
Photo: European Parliament Facebook

It was emphasized again in the report that visa liberalization depends on Turkey meeting all necessary criteria. Among the 6 criteria that Turkey must meet for visa liberalization, the most prominent one is the disagreement between the parties regarding the update of the Anti-Terrorism Law.

Voting Postponed at the Summit: Analysis on the EU’s Report Decision and the Impact of the Elections

EU countries did not vote on the report at the summit in December. T24 Foreign Policy Analyst Barçın Yinanç stated in his assessment that the EU “may not have wanted to throw flowers at the government” before the March 31 elections, so the report could be discussed at the summit to be held in the middle of this month.


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