Turkey offers Russia travel without passports

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 17.04.2017 00:41

Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who met with Russians residing in Antalya's Alanya district, stated that they had returned to the old days with Russia and relations between the two countries had strengthened.

Foreign Minister Çavusoğlu stated that they would like to welcome more Russian guests to Alanya and Antalya and said that there was no problem in charter flights.

Indicating that Russian insurance companies have also been working on the treatment of Russian citizens in Antalya, Çavuşoğlu stated they have made an agreement regarding the treatment of 20,000 Russian citizens in the health and sports tourism project they have organized in Antalya for the first time. Saying that they will make Alanya the health capital, Çavuşoğlu said they hope many Russian citizens will come there for treatment.

Underscoring there is no problem with the dual citizenship of Russian citizens in Turkey's legislations, Çavuşoğlu said, "We can give dual citizenship to the citizens of all countries. We have some conditions regarding the citizenship application of Russia, but we hope we will discuss this with our Russian friends in the future. We would like for Russian citizens to come to Turkey with identity cards."

Furthermore, Çavusoğlu recalled that Turkey signed a protocol with Ukraine for passport-free travel and that this summer Ukrainians will be able to come to Turkey with their identity cards. Moreover, he added they have done the same with Georgia. Çavusoğlu also stressed they had started negotiations with Russia for passport-free travel, saying they believe they will achieve this.

Two weeks ago, Minister Çavuşoğlu announced that preparations have been made for Russian citizens to enter Turkey without passports and said Turkey will be installing devices in airports that can read the identity cards of Russian citizens.

Minister Çavuşoğlu stressed that the normalization of the relations between Russia and Turkey is gradually improving. Indicating that there is a healthy friendship between the leaders of the two countries, Çavuşoğlu recalled the latest joint cabinet meeting in Moscow on March 10.

Stating that before the jet crisis in late November 2015, they had met frequently regarding passport-free travel for the citizens of the two countries, he said, "Now that our relations are normal, we can continue negotiations on this issue." Additionally, he explained that they are installing devices at airports that can read Russian identity cards so that they can travel to Turkey without passports.

Previously, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid an official visit to Russia on March 10 and held a two-and-a-half-hour meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in which economic issues, energy and military cooperation, decreased travel restrictions for Turkish nationals, and import restrictions on Turkish companies and food products were the main topics.

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