The recent trade mission to Turkey led by the Taniste,Eamon Gilmore, took place as exporters in both countries are hopeful of robust growth in business in the coming years.
The educational sector was among those represented in the party of Irish business people who took part in the mission.TCD ATC Language and Travel, Equal Ireland, and Griffith College, all had representatives seeking to make contacts and to direct business, and students, from Turkey.
The mission was nearing its end when an issue of mutual interest was raised. During a ceremony in Istanbul to mark the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the exporters’ representative associations for Turkey and Ireland, the vice-chairman of the Turkish Exporters Assembly Mustafa Cikrikoglu said that when he and his wife thought of going to Ireland on a holiday, they were told that it would take 25 days to get a visa.
Ireland wants to see a significant increase in trade and investment, he said, “but it is not easy to get into your country”.
The visa issue had been among the topics Gilmore discussed privately at meetings he held with Turkish ministers during his visit.
Responding to Cikrikoglu, he said a staffing issue in the Irish embassy in Ankara had been addressed, and that he was urging the Department of Justice to go easy on its demands for paperwork.
He said the problem with Turkish citizens travelling to the EU had to do with the number of non-Turkish illegal entrants who came via Turkey.
The Turkish government has initialled, but not finalised, a re-admission agreement with the EU, which would return the illegal immigrants that come to the EU via Turkey.
The Minister said re-admission would lead to visa-free travel for Turkish people within the EU but he understood the Turkish government had a difficulty with the agreement.
Source Irish Times.