Nigerian visa applicants to the Republic of Turkey have reportedly been barred from accessing the e-visa provisions but have instead been advised to apply via any Turkish Consulate.
LEADERSHIP Friday gathered yesterday from prospective applicants about the sudden change without prior notice or communication from the Turkish Mission in Nigeria.
But it appears the decision was taken following the incessant terrorist attacks in Nigeria and the high security alert that followed the attacks on the Custodial Centre in Abuja on Tuesday, where some terrorist elements were among those released from the centre.
Apparently one of the affected Nigerians in a message said: “Just putting this out there. Someone out there with a Schengen /UK/US visa might be booking a ticket to Turkey right now thinking they will apply for a visa electronically. DO NOT. Turkey decided to delist Nigerians from the e-visa list yesterday evening. With no prior warning/ communication. They clearly don’t rate us. Anyway, all Nigerians have to apply via the consulate wherever they are.
“Turns out so many people are/were planning to go to Turkey soon. Honestly, just apply through the consulate. There is still no information online. No press release, nothing! They are disrespectful. An agent told me she applied on behalf of someone yesterday and within the space of 5 minutes the message on the site had changed. Apparently, it has something to do with the “prison break”/ concerns of terrorism.
“Unfortunately, nationals of the country that you selected are not eligible for e-visa. Kindly visit the nearest Turkish mission to apply for a visa application. Please visit http:www.visa.gov.tr for the full list of the Turkish Embassies and Consulates,” the message said.
Another Nigerian whose application was apparently rejected and his payment refunded posted a message he allegedly received from the Turkish authorities.
The message read: “We regret to inform you that we are unable to process your application this time. Please refer to the Government website where you will be able to apply for your electronic travel documents as there will be some additional information you will be required to enter.
“The total cost of your application (158 Dollars) has been refunded in compliance with our Refund Policy As your application cannot be processed.
The total amount has been refunded directly to the same method of payment used to hire your professional services. No further action on your part is required at this point.
“Depending on your bank you will receive the refund between 1 and 10 business days. In the unlikely event that you have not received the refund after this time frame, you may contact us for assistance by replying to this mail.”
Some members of the diplomatic community such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada have warned their citizens against travelling to many parts of Nigeria, even in some parts of Abuja the nation’s capital, over security threats.