Zeynep ÖZLER Melih ÖZSÖZ Economic Development Foundation - TURKEY. Visa Situation in Turkey

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1 Zeynep ÖZLER Melih ÖZSÖZ Economic Development Foundation - TURKEY Visa Situation in Turkey Strengthening the triangle CSOs National Governments- European Commission-Reinforcing the Europe-wide civil society and building partnerships 19 October Zadar

2 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION IKVis as old as the history of Turkey-EUrelations itself. On 12 September 1963, the Association Agreement was signed between EEC and Turkey in Ankara. The Turkish business world believed in the European integration project. It took action even before the ink on the agreement dried. IKV was established in Brussels Representation was established in The first ever Turkish private sector representation in the EU.

3 LEGAL FRAMEWORK

4 LEGAL FRAMEWORK Turkey-EU Council Regulation No 539/2001 listing third countries, whose nationals must possess visas when crossing external borders Turkey in EU s Black List

5 LEGAL FRAMEWORK Turkey-EU 1963 Ankara Agreement(pre-accession agreement) Additional Protocol entered into force in Article 41/1 of the Additional Protocol Standstill Clause The Contracting Parties shall refrain from introducing between themselves any new restrictionson the freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide services. Standstill clause has direct effect, hence individuals can rely on it for enforcement of their rights. Primacy of Ankara Agreement over Regulation No. 539/ /95 Customs Union Decision

6 European Court of Justice (ECJ) Case Law Since the 1990s, ECJ has played a key role in clarifying the legal nature of the Ankara Agreement (1963), Additional Protocol (1970), Association Council Decisions (No 2/76, 1/80, 3/80) and the legal status of Turkish nationals in Europe. Demirel (1987) Sevince (1990) Savaş (2000) Abatay and Şahin (2001) Tüm and Darı (2007) Soysal (2009)

7 Soysal Ruling (February 2009) The visa application of two Turkish lorry drivers wishing to enter Germany is refused. Visa requirement for Turkish nationals introduced in 1980 (DE). First explicit mention of visas The standstill clause prohibits any new obstacles/restrictions on freedom of establishment and free movement of services. Court rules visa requirement as a new restriction under 41 (1), thus a breach of the standstill clause.

8 Aftermath of the Soysal Ruling European Commission s Opinion Only Germany(for certain service providers) and Denmark (for allservice providers) Germany Procedural change (visa exemption document) Restrictive in scope (service receivers not included)

9 Ongoing legal struggle yet political resistance by some EU Member States Seeking political dialogue through diplomatic channels and political agents? Civil Society Dialogue

10 Major resentment among Turkish public, arising from feelings of being discriminated against and unjust treatment particularly business community and students. Visa-Free Europe for Turks? Doors are opened for visa-free Europe First step towards visa-free Europe for Turkish citizens Visa-free Europe: Very soon?

11 EU offers no definite roadmap for visa liberalization in Turkey. Yet, Visa Facilitation in return for signing of Readmission Agreement with EU. No consensus on readmission agreement for it is costly in administrative, financial and social terms since Turkey is a major transit route for irregular migrants. Visa facilitation is not desirable for it will constitute a step backwards from our rights stemming from the Additional Protocol.

12 CURRENT SITUATION

13 DOCUMENTS for SCHENGEN VISA (Business+Touristic Visa) Passport * Photocopies of first 4 and last 2 pages of your passport * Previous passports (if applicable) * Visa application form * 2 Photographs * Invitation letter * Visa application letter from the employee * Records of commercial entity from the Chamber of Commerce/Industry * Tax registration certificate * Commercial activity certificate * Documents relating to the company s financial status * Bank acoounts (original/photocopy) * Credit cards (photocopy) * Land registry documents * Proof of assets * Travel insurance * Hotel reservation * Proof of transportation (tickets) * Last 3 months deposit slips of the applicant * Documents relating to the social security system * List of authorized signatures * ID card photocopy * Driving license photocopy (if applicable)...

14 COST of SCHENGEN VISA (Business Visa) Visa Cost Intermediary Agent Cost / Cargo Cost Bank Commission TOTAL Belgium TL 9 11 TL TL Finland TL TL France TL 9 11 TL TL Sweden 60 = 125 TL 9 11 TL TL Germany TL + 13 TL 166 TL Italy TL 9 11 TL TL The Netherlands 60 = 131 TL 23 YTL 9 11 TL TL Luxembourg YTL 9 11 TL TL Greece TL Portugal TL Spain 60 = 130,80 TL 130,80 TL Austria TL 9 11 TL TL Denmark 60 = 125 TL 28 TL 9 11 TL TL Poland 60 = 130 TL 130 TL Estonia TL Lithuania TL Latvia TL Malta TL Çek Republic TL Hungary TL Slovakia TL Slovenia TL

15 COST of SCHENGEN VISA (Touristic Visa) Visa Cost Intermediary Agent Cost / Cargo Cost Bank Commission TOTAL Belgium TL 9 11 TL TL Finland TL TL France TL 9 11 TL TL Sweden 60 = 125 TL 9 11 TL TL Germany TL + 13 TL 166 TL Italy TL 9 11 TL TL The Netherlands 60 = 131 TL 23 YTL 9 11 TL TL Luxembourg YTL 9 11 TL TL Greece TL Portugal TL Spain 60 = 130,80 TL 130,80 TL Austria TL 9 11 TL TL Denmark 60 = 125 TL 28 TL 9 11 TL TL Poland 60 = 130 TL 130 TL Estonia TL Lithuania TL Latvia TL Malta TL Çek Republic TL Hungary TL Slovakia TL Slovenia TL

16 VISA HOTLINE PROJECT -survey-

17 PURPOSE The survey aims to detect possible problems encountered by Turkish nationals during their Schengen visa application process. The survey designed as a kick-off for the lobbying activities of the Turkish business community on visa issue.

18 SURVEY CALENDER othe survey is composed of 15 questions. othe survey is sent to pre-defined institutions on February oon April 2009, all the answers were collected and an evaluation has followed.

19 SURVEY RESULTS in NUMBERS Number of valid surveys: 1475 Number of invalid surveys : 65 Number of institutions reached: 111 Number of cities reached: 46

20 PARTICIPANTS - Universities Balıkesir University Kırklareli University Marmara University Bartın University Rize University Süleyman Demirel Uni. Ankara University Fırat University Đstanbul Technical Uni. Bozok University Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi Ordu University Ege University Abant Đzzet Baysal Uni. Osmaniye Korkut Ata Uni. Muğla University Niğde University Bartın University Dicle University Atılım University Acıbadem University Yüzüncü Yıl University Trakya University K.maraş Sütçü Đmam Uni. Maltepe University Mersin University Yıldız Teknik University Hitit University Gaziantep University Gümüşhane University Bilecik University Cumhuriyet University Ahi Evran University Đstanbul Bilgi University Hacettepe University Düzce University Kastamonu University Süleyman Demirel University Zonguldak Karaelmas Uni. Nevşehir University Karamanoğlu Mehmetbey Uni. Bilkent University Đnönü University TOBB Eco. and Tech. Uni. Amasya University Fatih University Đstanbul Kültür University Eskişehir Osmangazi Uni. Namık Kemal University Kırklareli University Đstanbul Kültür University Adıyaman University Đzmir Đleri Teknoloji Enstitüsü Adnan Menderes University Fırat University

21 PARTICIPANTS Bar Associations Kırşehir Bar Association Adana Bar Association Eskişehir Bar Association Samsun Bar Association Manisa Bar Association Zonguldak Bar Association Bolu Bar Association Batman Bar Association Düzce Bar Association Ankara Bar Association Çanakkale Bar Association Trabzon Bar Association Edirne Bar Association

22 PARTICIPANTS Chambers Balıkesir Chamber of Medicine Afyonkarahisar Chamber of Medicine Niğde Chamber of Medicine Gaziantep-Kilis Chamber of Medicine Samsun Chamber of Medicine Muğla Chamber of Chemists Kastamonu Chamber of Chemists Manisa Chamber of Chemists Antalya Chamber of Chemists 1. Bölge Đstanbul Chamber of Chemists Afyonkarahisar Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ordu Chamber of Commerce and Industry Đzmir Ticaret Borsası Diyarbakır Chamber of Commerce and Industry Balıkesir Chamber of Commerce and Industry Artvin Chamber of Commerce and Industry Isparta Chamber of Commerce and Industry Develi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kırşehir Chamber of Commerce and Industry Eskişehir Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kocaeli Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kırklareli Ticaret Borsası Niğde Eczacı Odası Uzunköprü Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kırklareli Chamber of Commerce and Industry Konya Chamber of Commerce and Industry Zile Chamber of Commerce and Industry Isparta Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mersin Chamber of Commerce and Industry TMMOB Đnşaat Mühendisleri Odası Çevre Mühendisleri Odası Sivas Chamber of Commerce and Industry Gümüşhane Chamber of Commerce and Industry Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce and Industry Şanlıurfa Chamber of Commerce and Industry Çaycuma Chamber of Commerce and Industry Fethiye Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kayseri Chamber of Commerce and Industry Gaziantep Chamber of Commerce and Industry Balıkesir Ticaret Borsası Kırşehir Chamber of Commerce and Industry Doğanhisar Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kocaeli Chamber of Commerce and Industry

23 PARTICIPANTS General view %12 %40 Chambers Bar Associations %48 Universities 111 institutions participated in the survey: 55 Universities 13 Bar Associations 43 Chambers

24 PARTICIPANTS Outlook (Turkey) University Bar Association Chamber

25 SOME RESULTS Specific complaints regarding specific Consulates (Top 5) 1. UK (126 complaints) 2. Germany (100 complaints) 3. France (54 complaints) 4. Greece (50 complaints) 5. Portugal (38 complaints)

26 SOME RESULTS I got 3 Schengen visas from the German Consulate General in Đzmir and Ankara. Each time I felt myself insulted and humiliated in my own country. In addition to that I was exposed to the degrading treatment of the Consulate personnel, including security guards with Turkish nationality Suleyman Demirel University Physical conditions in Portuguese Consulate General was so poor. I had to wait for 4 long hours out in the freezing cold Atılım University UK Visa Application Center: Cold, Distant and nonchalant - Bilkent University Our students obtained their Schengen visa after a long and diffcult process even though they applied to go to Estonia for ERASMUS Exchange Programme. Some students had to visit Estonian Embassy in Istanbul three times, since they were provided with incomplete information each time Ege University I had my appointment from the German Consulate General after two weeks of my appointment request. Due to the additional documents requested by the Consulate, I started my courses in Germany with 4 weeks of delay - Yeditepe University

27 SOME RESULTS For visa application, your partner company in the EU has to send a letter of invitation directly to the Consulate. This is insulting for us and leaves no bargain power when you sit down to negotiate Eskişehir Chamber of Commerce You can not have a visa without an invitation letter. How can I have armslenght bargaining if my visit depends on a letter from my potential customer. Also I have to present all kinds of documents on my company and myself. Where is commercial confidentiality? - Mersin Chamber of Shipping All Turkish business people are treated as illegal migrants Ordu Chamber of Commerce and Industry Humiliating attitudes of the staff in the French Embassy made me feel uncomfortable Edirne Bar Association

28 SOME RESULTS Czech Republic Record of previous convictions Frozen Account Cost: 715 Cost: 70 Finland Health Insurance for Cost: 350 Germany

29 CONCLUSION There is a general dissatisfaction among the Turkish citizens regarding the visa issue (not only Schengen visa, but all visas applied for Turkish citizens) This dissatifaction is valid for all EU Member States Consulates; especially for some where visa applicants complaints concentrate on attitudes of Consular staff vis-a-vis applicants.

30 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION

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