Turkey imposes entry visa on Russian journalists

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting of local administrators at his palace in Ankara, Turkey. (AP Photo/Kayhan Ozer, Presidential Press Service, Pool )

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting of local administrators at his palace in Ankara, Turkey. (AP Photo/Kayhan Ozer, Presidential Press Service, Pool )

As of 15 February, Turkey has decided to impose entry visas on Russian journalists. “Journalists arriving in Turkey on short-term assignments will have to obtain entry visas,” a Turkish embassy official was quoted by the Interfax news agency.

The official said that new measure was in response to a similar decision taken by the Kremlin.”This measure is of a reciprocal nature, as Turkish reporters will also have to obtain visas for work in Russia activated in January 2016″ the official said.

Relations between Turkey and Russia worsened after a Russian fighter jet was downed by Turkish F-16s when it violated Turkey’s airspace near Syria in late November last year. Ever since then Turkey turned into Russia’s number one enemy, as a number of Russian newspapers accused the Turkish government openly of downing the Jet. While Turkey deported a Russian TV producing team after being stopped on Turkish-Syrian borders.

In retaliation for the incident, Russia has imposed sanctions against Turkey at the end of last year in particular, restrictions were imposed on imports of certain Turkish products, terminated the visa-free regime between the countries, under the ban came Charter flights. Later the sanctions were extended. In addition, Russia has urged Abkhazia to follow suit.

According to TASS news agency, until now Russian journalists have needed no entry visas to Turkey for short trips. They need to get temporary accreditation at the Turkish Press and Information Department upon their arrival in Turkey. Under the current regulations, journalists need visas only for permanent accreditation.

In December 2015, the Turkish authorities introduced new rules of obtaining work permits in Turkey for Russian journalists. From now on, Russian journalists need to submit a letter from their employers to the Turkish embassy explaining the trip’s purpose and specifying the place and time of visit as well as the names of people whom they want to interview. It is known if entry requirements “have not changed” for correspondents who constantly work in Turkey.

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