Long queues at the passport lines
Turkey, with its 397 blue-flagged beaches, is third in the world. The Mediterranean province Antalya is the first in the world with its 197 blue flags.
However, because we do not have 10 extra police officers to put at the passport counters at the Atatürk Airport, tourists are repelled. How about that?
I was not able to travel for three months because of back trouble; I would not have noticed it if those who suffered had not warned me. In international arrivals at Atatürk Airport, passport control queues have been reaching up to the ramps.
I was at a business dinner the other evening. Almost everybody was a frequent flyer. And there was not one soul among them who did not complain about this. One of them showed us photos taken by cell phone. It was scandalous.
Another one told us an anecdote: There have been acquaintances who returned from the gate seeing the long queue.
The reason is all of the counters are not open. Those that are open are slow; the lines do not move quickly.
The result is congestion that is just unbearable, especially after a long flight. Well, there is also disorganization and disarray accompanying it… Those who find themselves at the end of the queue as they step foot at the terminal building do not understand what they are waiting for until they reach the end of the queue. There is no guidance, no sign…
The whole issue is assigning more passport police to vacant counters. If all of the counters work at the same time, there would be no problem; the lines would move fast.
Passengers are overflowing, the control boxes are jammed, but there is no person in charge who recognizes the situation and opens the empty counters.
At the beginning of the tourism season, entries at our busiest gate are paralyzed. Isn’t there a person in charge who would look into this? If this is explained to the ministry, if this is reported to the office of the governor, would they lift a finger?
Is it possible for them to be indifferent to making the tourist who has arrived at our gate, regret that he/she has come to our country?
I am unable to comprehend it. I researched a little. An electronic passing system was being set up. It will be activated at the end of this month. Maybe this will bring some relief...
However, the foreigners whose passports have not been recorded in our system will not benefit from this. Also, because of the inadequacy of the devices, the limited capacity, as well as other restrictions, not all of our citizens will be able to use this system.
The bulk of the job will again be on the old school counters… on the passport police…
Right next to us, Iraq and Syria are burning. We are accommodating more than a million refugees.
Despite all of those evils surrounding us, foreigners are not afraid and they come all of the way here…
Apparently, we will break another record this year and will not have difficulty in hosting 43 million tourists… But we have difficulty in putting 10 more passport police at the gate.
If this is not a pity, then what is?
Tourists flow into the country under these awful conditions and we cannot arrange our gate passes accordingly… Can this go any further?
It is futile, actually, no matter how meticulously you plan your tourism policies, how much money you spend on promotion, how much you force the “all, but all, inclusive” system and how many blue flags you fly…