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Public outcry as EU increasingly rejects Turkish visas

The Turkish public’s outcry over the growing number of EU visa rejections has prompted the Turkish government to threaten the EU with countermeasures, but the matter will unlikely be resolved until underlying structural problems are addressed.  
People wave Turkish flags in an immigrant-heavy district.

Receiving a Schengen visa has become more difficult for Turkish passport holders — the list of people who have been unable to obtain a simple tourist visa from EU countries ranges from physicians to prominent journalists and even family members of Turkish diplomats.

According to, the number of refusals to Turkish nationals has increased by 9 percentage points over the past six years from 4% in 2014 to 12.7% in 2020. In addition to refusals, Turkish passport holders face delays in visa processes or get visas for shorter periods of time than requested. The growing cost of the refusals also adds to the anger of the public, with Turkish passport holders losing more than $25 million over the refusals in the past five years. The number of documents needing to be submitted also increased for visa applications, turning the already hard visa application process into a nightmare for Turkish citizens. 

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