Turkey launches e-visa system

Turkey launches e-visa system

Turkey launches e-visa system

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (L) and Interior Minister Muammer Güler at the press conference. AA Photo

Launching an e-visa system in Turkey for citizens of 94 countries is a landmark move that is unique the world over, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said today noting that it was an indication of the country’s self-confidence.

Turkey is not a country that assumes that every foreigner is a potential security risk, but a country that exhibits a behavior that suits human dignity, the minister said at a press conference to announce the new system.

By offering non-Turks the right to apply for e-visas, Turkey is showing that foreigners are not threats, but precious guests, he added.

Conversely, forcing Turkish nationals to wait in long queues to obtain a visa is not a sign of power for states, but a sign of weakness and a sign of a lack of confidence, Davutoğlu said in an apparent call to EU member states to lift visa requirements on Turks.

“If you don’t have self-confidence, [history will pass you by],” the minister said.

The e-visa system will only be offered to foreign passengers arriving in Turkey with Turkish Airlines (THY) flights for the moment, but it is open to further agreements with different airlines, according to Davutoğlu.

Interior Minister Muammer Güler and Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek attended the press conference, as did officials from the Prime Ministry, the Development Ministry, the Police Department, the THY and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). The Foreign Ministry and the THY also signed a cooperation protocol during the meeting.

Meanwhile, elaborating on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s (PACE) latest assessment on Turkey, which sparked debate by changing the terminology for describing the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from militants to “activists,” Davutoğlu said the issue had nothing to do with removing the PKK from the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations.