Crackdown on tourism on transit visa?
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Jul 13, 2013 10:02 AM Last Post By: knocknock
May 4, 2013 6:05 AM
Crackdown on tourism on transit visa?I'd like to ask your opinions on a story posted on a German travel forum:
The poster (German citizen) flew IST-ASB on one ticket, arriving in the morning, and onwards to FRA on another ticket the following day in the evening. He had a transit visa issued by the embassy in Berlin.
On arrival at ASB, he was denied entry because he "looked like a tourist". He was kept in the transit area until the evening, threatened by immediate deportation "anywhere", then he was let into the country to stay at his prebooked hotel and fly home on the originally planned Lufthansa flight. He was supervised at the hotel all the time (not in his room, though) and not allowed to leave it.
Have you heard about something like that before? I mean, it seems to be clear that transit visas are usually only issued on (geographically necessary) land transits, so the Berlin embassy giving a transit visa for IST-ASB-FRA without being tricked into doing so by fake itineraries, seems surprising. However, once the visa is issued, one would have expected smooth entry at ASB, wouldn't one?
Is this part of a general change of policy to crackdown on all unregulated tourism?
May 4, 2013 9:42 AM
1Hmm. That seems very strange, especially as Ashgabat is the one place in Turkmenistan where people traveling on tourist visas are allowed to wander around without a guide. I can understand them being awkward about his visa, but actually monitoring him in his hotel sounds very odd.
I wonder if the Turkmenistan authorities had some reason to to fear that he might be a journalist? Even a hint of that can sometime alarm authoritarian regimes, but they will often try to avoid admitting that this is the problem.
May 4, 2013 9:53 AM
2However, once the visa is issued, one would have expected smooth entry at ASB, wouldn't one?
That's a common mistake. A visa doesn't guarantee entry into any country. Most times there aren't problems to enter in a country if you have a valid visa for that country (assuming you need one) but the final decission is at the discretion of the official at the border post (or his/her supervisor). I can't comment about the frequency of these problems in the specific case of Turkmenistan though.
Jul 13, 2013 10:02 AM
3The poster (German citizen) flew IST-ASB on one ticket, arriving in the morning, and onwards to FRA on another ticket the following day in the evening. He had a transit visa issued by the embassy in Berlin.
I can understand why he was suspected and denied his entry to TM.
Why did he apply for a transit visa for such a short stay in ASB?
With his outbound flight reservation, he could have gotten a time-restricted transit pass from his airline. This is just a pass to be used within the airport, not a visa for overland travelers.
He might have a secret meeting with someone at the hotel or .......
(2 star Hotel)
From US$71.73 per night
From US$112.91 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$22.30 per night