Will Turkey allow Russians to enter without passports?
Ankara is ready to discuss with the Russian government the crossing of the Turkish border by Russian citizens without international passports, the Turkish Foreing Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at the meeting with representatives of the Russian community of Antalya.
Chavushoglu recalled that before the incident with the downed Russian plane, the parties achieved significant progress on this issue.
"Since bilateral relations have normalized, we can conclude our discussions. The Turkish authorities are already installing devices for identity identification at airports, and we intend to resume negotiations," Cavusoglu said.
He stressed that the normalization of relations between the countries continues, the presidents of the two countries established friendly relations.
"The friendly relations between the two countries contribute to solving regional problems, in particular, the establishment of ceasefire in Syria.The parties are also working on issues related to the delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilians in this country," RIA Novosti cited the Turkish Foreign Minister as saying.
The executive director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, Maya Lomidze, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that even without this measure, the Russian tourist flow to Turkey is currently setting records. "The tourist flow to Turkey is increasing at a sufficient rate and the volume of sales exceeds even pre-crisis volumes," she said.
According to the ATOR executive director, the thing is that Turkish companies have already taken all necessary measures to attract Russians to their resorts. "Tour operators are being actively supported, travel costs were lowered. Perhaps the most urgent issue for today is the issue of ensuring the safety of our tourists," Maya Lomidze stressed.
Senior Lecturer of the Department of Management and Business at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences of RANEPA, Yevgeny Itsakov, noted that those who would like to visit Turkey, already could make international passports: it is not expensive and not difficult.
"This measure will hardly be of any real significance, because visa-free entry is already a rather preferential form of citizens' control," he noted.
Nevertheless, according to him, only about 20% of Russians have international passports now, therefore, for a small part of Russians, this measure could serve as an incentive for a trip to Turkey.
The expert warned that entry to Turkey without international passports could entail a number of technical difficulties. The Russian side would have to take additional measures to prevent the entry of Russians into Turkey, who are classified as restricted. Another issue relates to the identification by the Turkish side of personal data from Russian passports written in Russian.
Among other measures that would help Turkey to increase the tourist flow from Russia, the senior lecturer of the Department of Management and Business at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences of RANEPA named the nomination of prices in rubles and lower travel costs in general.