May 20 2019

Germany doubles rejection of visa applications from Turkey - DW

Germany's rate of rejection of Schengen visa applications from Turkey has doubled in the past four years, Deutsche Welle Türkçe reported on Sunday.

The proportion of rejections of short-term visa applications to the Schengen Area filed at German consulates in Turkey steadily increased from 4.4 percent in 2014 to 8.5 percent in 2018, DW Türkçe said.

Germany, home to some three million Turkish immigrants, however remains the most popular destination for visa hopefuls despite the increased rejections.

Most applications for Schengen visas in Turkey in 2018 were made to Germany's Consulate General in Istanbul. This was followed by applications to the consulate generals of France, Italy and Greece, DW Türkçe said.

Meanwhile, Turkey and the European Union remain some distance from finalising a visa-free travel deal for Turkish citizens to Europe, a step that would end the practice of Turks applying to EU consulates for visiting rights.

Turkish officials maintain that Turkey has completed all of the European Union’s 72 criteria for granting visa-free travel to the bloc and that they have handed over the relevant documents. Belgium's foreign minister, however, said in February that the deal will not be signed off until Turkey reforms its anti-terror legislation.

Visa liberalisation for Turkish citizens was a key component of the EU-Turkey refugee deal struck in 2016, which aimed to reduce the number of refugees from Syria reaching Europe via the Greek islands near the Turkish mainland.