FIDE Congress and Suspension of Visa Services to Turkey

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  • FIDE Congress and Suspension of Visa Services to Turkey

    FIDE Congress and Suspension of Visa Services to Turkey

    October 11, 2017

    FIDE Congress & Suspension of Visa Services for Travel to Turkey

    By US Chess, October 10, 2017

    The government of Turkey announced the suspension of visa services to U.S. citizens, effective October 8, 2017. According to the government’s announcement, this includes the issuance of physical “sticker” visas at border posts, and the online Turkish electronic visa (e-visa). U.S. citizens planning travel to Turkey, and who have questions regarding this regulation, should contact the closest Embassy or Consulate of Turkey, or the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Several US Chess members have expressed concern for the safety of our US Chess members attending the 88th FIDE Congress in Antalya, Turkey, currently in progress. The US Chess Director of Events contacted the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. and the American Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. They have assured us that the suspension of visa services applies only to those seeking visas for future travel and does not affect those who are already in Turkey. Further, they have stated that this suspension will not affect their return home. The US Chess Director of Events also contacted FIDE officials and organizers of the FIDE Congress. They are well aware of the situation, had already addressed it with the local officials, and informed our FIDE Congress participants. In addition, we have alerted our US Chess members there and asked them to take precautions.

    The members of the US Chess Delegation are Zonal President Ruth Haring, FIDE Delegate Michael Khodarkovsky, US Chess Manager of FIDE Ratings, Titles and Certifications Grant Oen and FIDE Qualification Commission Councillor Walter Brown. Also attending is FIDE Arbiters’ Commission Member Carol Jarecki who represents the British Virgin Islands but resides in New York.

    The FIDE Congress concludes on October 14, and our attendees will be traveling back the next day.

    Members of our US Chess delegation are currently working on a mid-Congress report for US Chess News.

  • #2
    Turkish tit for tat

    Originally posted by USCF
    Several US Chess members have expressed concern for the safety of our US Chess members attending the 88th FIDE Congress in Antalya, Turkey, currently in progress.
    Since the failed coup d'etat in 2016 in Turkey, relations between the two countries have been very chilly. The alleged leader of the coup, Fethullah Gulen, is biding his time in the USA as a guest of that country. Seems Turkey has a good case here, on the face of things, that the US was behind the coup. Turkish leaders have certainly said so publicly.

    Since the failed coup, Turkey now has much better relations with some of its neighbors: Qatar, Iran, and Russia. Things are changing rapidly. It's useful to bear in mind that Turkey is the 2nd largest military in NATO, it is the only NATO country to invade another (Greek Cyprus), and, frankly, it is not the wuss that the Russians are when it comes to diplomatic conflicts with the US. Turkey will exchange blow for blow with the US and rub their noses in it. I wonder if President Trump even realizes this.

    Recent events had Turkey arresting a couple of US Consular staff (Turkish citizens who work there, etc.) and seeking out a third who is hiding in the US Embassy in Istanbul. Those arrested, and the 3rd in hiding in the US Embassy, were connected with Gulen. Following the arrests, the US regime suspended visa services to Turkey and the Turks responded in kind, using almost exactly the same words as the US State Department used in their statement.

    A Turkish tit for tat. lol. I'm sure the Americans got the point. But unless the US starts carrying out spurious arrests of Turkish citizens, which I don't see happening, chess officials should have no worries about similar actions against them in Turkey.

    Unless their name is Kirsan and they're traveling to the US. But that's a different story.
    Last edited by Nigel Hanrahan; Thursday, 12th October, 2017, 03:35 PM. Reason: correction: Istanbul not Ankara
    Dogs will bark, but the caravan of chess moves on.


    • #3
      Re: Turkish tit for tat

      When I went to Turkey a number of years ago, I was surprised that they required a $60 Visa from Canadians (to be paid once you got off the plane in Turkey...was not complicated...simply pay and you can enter). I asked why...they said because Canada requires people from Turkey entering Canada, to get a Visa...then it made perfect sense to me.