Turkey halts diplomatic visa agreement with Afghanistan

Turkey halts diplomatic visa agreement with Afghanistan

ANKARA (amu.tv): Turkey announced on Wednesday the suspension of a visa exemption agreement with Afghanistan for holders of diplomatic passports, Turkish media reported.

According to the Daily Sabah, a presidential decree published in the Official Gazette stated that the 2008 agreement on mutual visa removal for diplomatic passport holders would be suspended starting June 1.

While Turkish authorities did not provide a reason for the suspension, the decision came shortly after a visit by Turkish migration officials to Afghanistan. A delegation from Turkey’s General Directorate of Migration visited Afghanistan earlier this month to discuss the irregular migration of Afghan nationals to Turkey and the deportation of irregular migrants back to Afghanistan.

The suspension affects all Republic VIPs based in Doha who hold diplomatic passports, as well as Taliban leadership.

Turkey has been a major destination for Afghan irregular migrants, both before and after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in 2021. According to Turkish media reports, Afghan nationals top the list of irregular migrants intercepted by authorities. As of May, more than 27,000 Afghan irregular migrants had been intercepted, according to figures from the General Directorate of Migration.

Turkey has no formal diplomatic relations with Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover but maintains a chargé d’affaires in the country while continuing its humanitarian aid efforts. Most recently, it sent a train carrying aid to Afghan towns affected by devastating floods. Earlier this month, Turkish Airlines resumed flights to Kabul after a three-year hiatus.