As part of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s willingness of transforming Turkey into the hub of radical Islamic jihadists and an Ottoman Caliphate, authorities in Istanbul are granting citizenship to members of Al Qaeda, Islamic State (ISIS), Hamas and other terrorist groups, while they also are giving them new names, which would help these terrorists in disappearing from the radars of intelligence and counterterrorism agencies in the United States, Britain, European Union, Israel and other countries in the Middle East.
Meanwhile, during the last week of July 2022, under the direction of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish authorities published a decision in the Official gazette allowing Bulgarian citizens to enter the country without any passport or visa.
According to Nordic Monitor, Bulgarian tourists travel to Turkey particularly to do shopping due to the depreciation of the lira against the euro.
Turkey has recently allowed Norwegian citizens passport-free entry. Although the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs initially denied this after a negative reaction from the opposition, which stated that Turkish citizens should have the same opportunity as a requirement of reciprocity, Foreign Affairs spokesman Tanju Bilgiç later had to announce that due to the fact that Norwegian citizens were unable to extend their passports because of the worldwide chip crisis, and upon the request of the Turkish tourism sector, Norwegians will be able to enter Turkey with their national identification cards.
Citizens of not only Norway and Bulgaria but also 16 other countries can enter Turkey with only their identity cards. These countries are Germany, Belgium, France, Georgia, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Ukraine, Greece, Poland and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), a state recognized only by Turkey. Citizens of Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Portugal are even allowed to enter Turkey with their expired passports.
Due to the pandemic, Turkey’s tourism revenue suffered significant losses in 2020 and 2021. Although revenue doubled in 2021 over the previous year and reached US$24.5 billion, the tourism industry has not yet recovered considering that it was US$34.5 billion in 2019.
Turkish Ministry of Tourism expects 42 million tourists and US$35 billion in revenue in 2022. However, the number of tourists coming from Russia and Ukraine, which are among the three countries with the highest number of tourists, is expected to decrease due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The number of foreigners living legally in Turkey in 2021 increased to a record level. According to official statistics obtained by Nordic Monitor, there were a total of 1,300,220 foreigners with residence permits in Turkey in 2021, compared to 886,652 in 2020. The most common type of residence permit was a short-term residence permit granted to 954,812 people. Foreigners who own real estate in Turkey and tourists who extended their stay most frequently applied for short-term residence permits. There are 114,732 people in Turkey with student residence permits. Foreign nationals who are married to a Turkish citizen or have children with them benefit from a family residence permit, which was given to 89,595 people in 2021.
Turkey pushes Western nations into gravest security hazards
With Turkish government’s latest policy of granting citizenship and even a new name to the members of Al Qaeda, Islamic State (ISIS), Hamas and other terrorist groups, once visa restrictions are lifted for Turkish nationals in entering the Western countries, it will open a grand opportunity to dangerous terrorists, including members of radical Islamic militancy outfits in entering those countries with a Turkish passport and name and executive terrorist plots and safely return to Turkey. In addition to the members of Al Qaeda and Islamic State (ISIS), Iranian proxies such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthis and even members of Iranian Quds Force can avail this opportunity in using Turkish passport and a new name for implementing terrorist plots. Similarly, Afghanistan-based terrorist entities as well as radical Islamic militancy groups in China’s Xinjiang province, Russia’s Chechnya and other CIS republics can also avail this opportunity. Meaning, Turkey soon will become the epicenter of jihadist and terrorist activities.
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