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Turkish Fm Agrees Partial Visa Free Deal With Turkey

News Posted On: 18 October 2010

During an official visit to Lisbon by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey and Portugal signed a deal envisioning mutual and partial visa exemption for each other’s citizens.

Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu has signed a partial visa-free deal with Portugal during an official visit to Lisbon. This is the latest in a line of visa-free deals agreed by Turkey in the last 18 months, including Russia, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Albania, Libya, Kosovo and Sudan.

The agreement is partial in the fact that only citizens who have special or service passports in either country, will be able to travel to the other without a visa, and only for one 90-day period every six months. The agreement is still pending ratification in the parliaments of both countries.

The Turkish government and business leaders have gotten increasingly upset by the EU's failure to lift visa requirements for its citizens, and has stepped up calls for it to do so since visa-free deals were agreed with Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia in December last year.

Increasing their annoyance at being left out in the cold, is the fact that the European Court of Justice said Turkish businesspeople providing services in EU member states should be able to enter without having to obtain visas using legislation in the Additional Protocol to the Ankara Agreement agreed in 1973.

A visa-free deal would be very beneficial to Turkish businesses operating or hoping to start operating in Europe, as well as to the tourism industry. We can read into the situation that the deals with Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia are because they have much more straightforward path's to EU accession.

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