With official passport, problems?
23.Mar.2010 - 14:24 hrs
Hello. I am changing planes in Turkey on my way to Thailand. All I have is an official passport, not a tourist one. I read that I need to be on orders to go into Turkey with an offical passport but I am only chaning planes. My husband thinks I will be rejected and be returned home but he has no proof of this. What do you guys know?
23.Mar.2010 - 14:27 hrs
The Turkish consulate or your airline may be better placed to answer (authoritatively) your question.
23.Mar.2010 - 14:28 hrs
- or even your own Consulate should know.
23.Mar.2010 - 14:28 hrs
I think your confusing passport and visa.... Not sure what a tourist passport would be. You usually do not need a visa if you are just changing planes, but a Turkey visa was available for purchase right there at the air port for 90 days if you did.
23.Mar.2010 - 14:31 hrs
An official passport is one issued by the US government for military members and their affiliates for official travel as required by the US government. OP doesn't have a regular US passport, which is why she is concerned, since she is not going to Thailand for work. (Or so it seems.)
EDIT: @Duckworth: Yes, there are official and tourist passports. They are different; my husband has one of each.
23.Mar.2010 - 14:36 hrs
Ahh, good to know.
23.Mar.2010 - 14:39 hrs
Thanks all. I just wrote to the American Embassy in Turkey. I have been to Thailand 4 times on this passport in the past but from Korea. I hear they are cracking down on using this passport for non-official travel. Damn, we are due to go in 2 weeks and my husband is worried out of his skull.
23.Mar.2010 - 14:47 hrs
I'm intrigued, why do they have two sorts of passports, what is the advantage of one over the other? Just interested.
23.Mar.2010 - 15:08 hrs
Okay, we can make this simpler. Do you think I go through customs in Turkey? If I don't I don't have to worry.
23.Mar.2010 - 15:21 hrs
You're confusing customs with immigration. You only go through customs when your final destination is the country in which you disembarked. You are hoping that you do not need to go through immigration or passport control. It's been a few years since I transferred in Turkey but I recall that I did not go through immigration but went from one gate to the next. But this depends on how the airport organizes this. If you are not careful in FRA for example, you can wind up going through immigration and security again if all you want to do is go from Terminal 1A to 1B and miss the little sign that sends you there without leaving the terminal.
23.Mar.2010 - 15:45 hrs
Some countries and some airports now insist on doing a passport check for all arriving passengers and not just those ending their journey. Sorry, but I don't know what Turkey is like, nor if there are differences between airports in how transients are handled.
23.Mar.2010 - 15:45 hrs
You're technically not entering to Turkey during your flight connection. My understanding is you're just flying *via* Turkey, most probably through Istanbul. To the best of my knowledge, the parts of the airports that you travel abroad from, are considered international areas and hence you can exist there without having a visa.
So you will pass through neither passport check, nor customs. All you need to provide, along with your boarding pass, is your passport (or another valid id that your airline accepts) to get on the aircraft. If you don't have necessary permissions to enter your destination country, then you will be sent back to Turkey, in which case you will have a problem.
However, if you are required visa for your destination and fail to provide it, then you will most probably not be let into the plane. These are international regulations, there should be no Turkey-specific regulations inside the international zone of the airport.
23.Mar.2010 - 15:52 hrs
You can also drop the airport representatives a message for your question. They can find somebody to answer.
23.Mar.2010 - 15:53 hrs
Err.... there is no international requirement that all airports must provide some separate, special transient area. Thus even connecting passengers may be required to go through a regular passport check in order to change planes. It has happened to my husband several times over the last few years, even in airports where previously there had been no passport checks on folks just switching from one plane to another.
So please don't assume that you won't be checked just because you are only changing planes.
23.Mar.2010 - 20:40 hrs
I know Istanbul Airport well. I commuted Bahrain-Manchester via Turkish several years. Don't hold me to it, but the transit area of the airport is just that, you don't need a visa. Be warned it stinks of tobacco.
bipa is right that not all airports have a transit. On a flight Beijing-Almaty-Gatiwck in 2000 to my horror there was no transit so I had to walk through the warm Almaty air being harrassed by Kazakhs at 3am stumbling from the exit to the entry. Nighmare.
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