It’s a time of uncertainty for those who want to become residents of Turkey.
It was announced some time ago that new regulations would come into force around April 11 and that everyone making a first application would have to apply in their own country. So far, we understood.
But this did pose challenges. For example, to obtain residency you need to show proof of having somewhere to live – a rental agreement or tapu (property deeds). Under the proposed system, rather than simply travelling to Turkey on a tourist visa, finding somewhere to hang your hat and then popping down to the Passport Polis (as many people do) you’d have to come back to the UK and hang around for up to 90 days. Surely there was a way of working round this?
Unfortunately, the Turkish Consulate had no answer to this or any other of the questions those of us planning to move had (and still have). They were seemingly unaware of the changes and simply told everyone they still had to apply in Turkey as usual, while the Turkish authorities said people should make appointments at the Consulate.
The result was a lot of wannabe ex-pats running around like headless chickens trying to find out what on earth was going on, what they were supposed to do and when they were supposed to do it.
Come D-Day and some polis stations refused new applications for a while, which caused particular problems for those on tourist visas about to expire. It was announced there’d be a delay before the changes were introduced; then that there’d be a “transition period”.
So does that mean business as usual for now? Er, no. One British applicant reports that some of the new requirements are now in force, such as having to provide a translated copy of your passport. But someone else says their local polis aren’t bothering with that bit.
Official notification has been woefully lacking and the upshot is that we’re all as much in the dark as ever. Which is why I’m glad I got my own residency sorted out a couple of months ago.
But we still need to sort out two other members of the family, and I’m not sure what to do for the best. My ‘final’ flight out is booked, and I need to arrange theirs too. Do I just go ahead and trust that they’ll still be able to apply in Fethiye when the time comes? What if they can’t and have to come back again to apply in London – missing most of the summer and with nowhere to live? Do we hang on to see what happens next and run the risk of them not getting a flight around our chosen dates?
It’s hugely frustrating but very typical of the country we want to call home. Disorganisation, miscommunication and lack of information are very definitely its bureaucratic strong points.
Time to grit our teeth and remind ourselves – this is life in Türkiye….