Turkey mulls special passport for businessmen going to EU

May 20, 2012, Sunday/ 16:33:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Minister of Customs and Trade Hayati Yazıcı told reporters in Ankara the government is considering a new regulation to ease the difficulties faced by Turkish businessmen at EU customs due to complicated visa requirements.The minister spoke to reporters following a meeting in Ankara.

“We are considering providing a special [green] passport to Turkish businessmen traveling to Europe. … We have not worked out the details yet. The businessmen will be chosen among those who travel most frequently to Europe on business,” he noted.

The visa requirements for entrance into the EU has been a major point of discussion among Turkish businessmen. The union is Turkey's largest trade partner, with 50 percent of Turkish goods being sold to EU markets. Turkish businessmen miss out on important meetings with European counterparts due to visa requirements, while every Turkish passport holder legally should be allowed to enter Europe without a visa according to the Turkish side, which cites the Association Agreement (AA), also known as the Ankara Agreement, of 1963 and the Additional Protocol, which entered into force in January 1973, as proof of the non-visa entry rights of Turks traveling to the EU.

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