Türkiye Implements Visa Policy for Tajikistan Citizens

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Türkiye has declared the reintroduction of visa requirements for Tajikistan citizens, signaling the conclusion of a visa-free travel agreement that has simplified the passage between the two countries since 2018. Effective April 20, 2024, travelers from Tajikistan aiming to visit Türkiye with standard foreign passports will be required to obtain a visa beforehand. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced this policy change, which was also officially recorded in the Resmi Gazete, the nation’s state gazette.

    Under the previous visa-free arrangement, Tajikistan citizens could stay in Türkiye for up to 90 days without a visa. This changed drastically after a terrorist attack near Moscow on March 22, 2024, which resulted in 143 deaths and 360 injuries. Following this event, Türkiye’s intensified security measures against ISIS led to the arrest of a Tajik national, the alleged planner of the attack, and the deportation of a Kyrgyz national, both confirmed ISIS members.

    This incident has amplified concerns over the potential misuse of Türkiye as a transit or operational base for terrorist activities, with some experts labeling it a “jihadist hub” for the Islamic State and other terrorist groups. A report to the UN Security Council, issued two months before the attack, highlighted the recruitment efforts of an Afghanistan-based branch of the Islamic State, targeting Tajik and other Central Asian militants.

    The decision to cancel visa-free travel for Tajik citizens also coincides with a diplomatic row, as Tajikistan’s foreign ministry refuted claims from the director of Russia’s Security Council about Ukraine recruiting Tajik mercenaries. Additionally, the Tajik foreign ministry noted that Ankara had not officially communicated its intention to terminate the visa exemption rule.

    This policy adjustment underscores the intricate geopolitical dynamics involving Türkiye, Tajikistan, and Russia, reflecting wider regional concerns over security, terrorism, and diplomatic relations. On a related note, as of January 1, 2024, U.S. citizens traveling to Türkiye for tourism or short-term business no longer need to apply for an e-visa in advance. This policy change simplifies the entry process for American tourists, aligning it more closely with the ease of entering Western European countries.

    Leave a Comment