Visa requirement between Turkey and Syria will put into effect again starting from today.
In 2009, Turkey and Syria made an agreement for abolishing visa requirement between the two country. However, Turkish authorities declared that visa requirement will start again on January 8, 2015. The Foreign Office Spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç stated that the visa requirement will be applied to Syrians who will enter Turkey by sea or air. He also stated that this application is put into effect for struggling against illegal immigration. The spokesperson said that the borders will continue to be open for the ones who will enter Turkey overland.
Speaking to Agos about this issue, Şenay Özden said that she considers this application “terrible”: “Turkey was one of the countries where Syrians felt most comfortable after the war. With the visa requirement, Syrians began to feel more desperate. They feel like everyone has closed the door now. Especially Syrian activists and NGOs were organizing events in Turkey and they won't be able to do this anymore with the new regulation. The visa requirement is related to the readmission agreement that might be signed between Turkey and Europe. With the visa requirement, it will be impossible for Syrians to migrate to Europe. In order to get visa, Syrians have to have some money deposited in a bank or they have to have a job with insurance. However, no one has that kind of money anymore. Families of some Syrians are separated; some members in Turkey and some members in Lebanon. It is really difficult to come to Turkey from Lebanon. On the other hand, the young people who fled from the war are in Turkey and their families are in Syria. If the visa requirement would be put in effect, those young people wouldn't be able to meet with their families, since they cannot return to Syria because of the danger of execution.”