Visa-related problems thwart Turkish team’s plan to attend fair
The ONK Agency, Türkiye’s first copyright agency, applied for a visa to the German Consulate for the agency’s managing director, Meriç Güleç, and foreign book rights director Merve Öngen to attend the fair, which could not be held for two years due to the pandemic.
Noting that both of them have been participating in this fair for 10 years and that they have numerous Schengen visas and U.S. visas on their passports, Mehmet Karaca, the head of the agency, said, “Germany issued a four-day visa for both of them.”
“Öngen was supposed to hold meetings until the evening on the last day of the fair, travel to Berlin by train at night and visit some German publishers and agencies in the week following the fair,” Karaca said.
However, due to the validity of the visa, they had to cancel all their appointments at the fair and meetings in Berlin.
“We had to make a flight change, which cost us quite a lot,” he added.
According to the data of the German Foreign Ministry, while the refusal rate for Turkish citizens was 5.9 percent in 2014, this rate increased to 20.7 percent in the first six months of this year.
Meanwhile, veteran journalist Ruşen Çakır also announced that the Schengen visa application they made to France with his wife and son was rejected without any justification.
Most Turks are complaining about an increasingly harsher stance from the Western diplomatic missions over their visa requests.
The missions have long been prolonging the visa appointment dates and making the process more difficult by demanding excessive amounts of documents, mostly irrelevant, from the Turkish nationals.
The U.S. and other missions give the COVID-19 conditions as the excuse for these delays.
Turkish nationals need to get a Schengen visa to enter EU countries and an individual visa from the U.S. and the United Kingdom. However, the nationals of these countries can enter Türkiye without a visa.