Turkey introduces visa requirement for Libyan citizens
ANKARATurkey has introduced visa requirements for Libyans, due to security concerns, the Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Aug. 27.
Turkey annulled a memorandum of agreement with Libya from 2009 waiving visas for nationals of both countries, with Libyan citizens having to apply for a visa to travel to Turkey as of Sept. 24, Tanju Bilgiç told reporters on Aug. 27.
Turkish authorities have made the decision over possible reflections of political uncertainty on Turkish citizens and to minimize security risks, he added.
The Turkish government has notified the Libyan embassy in Ankara on Aug. 25 over the annulment, Bilgiç stated.
The practice does not mean any change for Turkey’s approach towards Libyan people, he stressed.
Meanwhile, Southern Antalya province will host Turkey-Azerbaijan-Turkmenistan foreign ministers trilateral meeting on Aug. 28, a Foreign Ministry statement said.
Turkey had been one of the few countries where Libyans could come without a visa and became a major holiday destination for Libyans seeking to escape the chaos and violence gripping the oil producing country four years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.
Turkey was forced to close down its embassy in Libya and evacuated hundreds of Turkish citizens in 2014 due to security threats.
Libyans have struggled to get visas for European or Arab countries since most embassies left Tripoli a year ago when a rival faction of the recognized government seized the capital, expelling the official prime minister to eastern Libya.
Libya’s official government has accused Turkey of shipping weapons to the Tripoli’s factional government, charges denied by Ankara.