Türkiye ceases diplomatic visa deal for Afghans

Türkiye has suspended the agreement granting visa exemption to holders of diplomatic passports from Afghanistan, according to the Official Gazette.

The decree, bearing the signature of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, stipulated that the decision will take effect from June 1, following its announcement on May 29.

The Turkish parliament had ratified the arrangement providing visa exemption for Afghan diplomatic passport holders in 2008. Foreign Ministry sources or any other officials have yet to proffer additional elucidation regarding the decision.

In a parallel move, Türkiye annulled the agreement that conferred visa exemption to Tajikistani nationals last month.

The decision on May 29 followed a visit to Afghanistan by the head of Türkiye's Directorate General of Migration Management. The sides held discussions regarding the prevention of illegal migration to Türkiye and the return of Afghan migrants, according to a written statement by the Turkish body.

After Syrians, Afghan migrants constitute one of the largest refugee populations in Türkiye. Türkiye experienced a surge in migration from Afghanistan following the Taliban's assumption of power in 2021. Despite having no formal diplomatic ties with Afghanistan post the Taliban's takeover, Türkiye maintains a charge d'affaires in the country and continues its humanitarian assistance efforts there.

Continue reading on: