Turkish FM says Schengen visa delays intentional, will take countermeasures

Turkish FM says Schengen visa delays intentional, will take countermeasures
Update: 23 August 2022 17:23
A+ A-
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the visa delays and rejections by the Western countries against Turkish citizens aimed to leave AKP in a difficult situation ahead of elections

Turkey sees the visa delays by the US and the EU against Turkish citizens as intentional and will take countermeasures if they persist in doing so after warnings, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, in a televised interview with Haber Global TV.

Çavuşoğlu said the ambassadors of the Western countries will be called upon the ministry and warned about the matter. “If they do not improve after that, we will take countermeasures,” he said, adding that he saw “these as the steps taken to leave the AKP government in a difficult situation before the election.”

On Tuesday, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported that the rapid increase in the rejection of Turkish citizens' applications for Schengen visa has continued in 2021, reaching 19 percent.

The reason behind many rejections was that the applicant "may not return to their home country" because of the ongoing economic crisis in Turkey and over concerns for the increasing political repression.

Unfortunately, the US and some Western countries make our citizens wait for up to 1 year, Cavusoglu said, adding that he talked about the issue with the German foreign minister and the US Ambassador to Ankara. 

Earlier in July an official report said that the rejection rate was 4 percent in 2014 but rose to 12.7 percent in 2020.

The Turkish authorities stress that in many cases Turkish professionals and businesspersons have been impacted by the situation and could not make essential business trips to European countries.