Turkey issuing fewer residence permits for Russians since December: report

The Turkish government is issuing fewer residence permits to Russian citizens who left home following the invasion of Ukraine, introducing bureaucratic hurdles for obtaining the necessary document, according to a report by Deutsche Welle (DW).

“Previously, citizens of Central Asian countries were more likely to be rejected. In December, this trend started affecting Russians as well,” Margarita Polyakova, head of the Istanbul-based consulting firm New Days Agency, told DW.

Foreign nationals who buy real estate in Turkey have been able to obtain a residence permit without a problem, and a large number of Russians have been issued residence permits after showing that they had a rental contract and could provide proof of income, according to DW.

Since December 26, Russians have been denied short-term residence permits in several cities, Russian media earlier reported.

Last year, 153,000 Russian citizens received temporary Turkish residence permits, becoming the largest group by nationality to receive the document. Some 86 percent of the permits received by Russians were valid for up to a year, according to the Turkish migration authority.

A short-term residence permit allows visitors to stay in Turkey for up to a year and to come and go freely. Russian citizens without residence permits are only permitted to stay in Turkey as tourists, which means a maximum stay of 60 consecutive days within six months, after which they are obliged to leave and re-enter Turkey.

A residence permit also entitles its holder to open a bank account and to enroll children in local schools.

NATO member Turkey opposes Western sanctions on Russia on principle and has close ties with both Moscow and Kyiv, its Black Sea neighbors. It also condemned Russia’s invasion and has sold combat drones to Ukraine as part of its diplomatic balancing act.

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