Türkiye suspends diplomatic visa deal with Afghanistan | Daily Sabah – Daily Sabah

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Türkiye on Wednesday announced the suspension of an agreement with Afghanistan for visa exemption to holders of diplomatic passports.

The presidential decree published in the Official Gazette said the agreement on mutual removal of visas with Afghanistan for diplomatic passport holders, which was approved by the Turkish government in 2008, would be suspended starting on June 1.

Authorities did not cite a reason for the suspension but the decision came shortly after a visit by Turkish migration officials to Afghanistan. A delegation of the General Directorate of Migration visited the Asian country earlier this month to discuss the irregular migration of Afghan nationals to Türkiye and the deportation of irregular migrants from Afghanistan back to their country.

Türkiye has been a major destination for Afghan irregular migrants, before and after the Taliban takeover in the country. Its eastern border with Iran is a major crossing point for Afghan migrants. Afghan nationals top the list of irregular migrants intercepted by authorities according to 2024 figures from the General Directorate of Migration. As of May, more than 27,000 Afghan irregular migrants were intercepted by authorities.

Türkiye has no formal relations with Afghanistan following the 2021 takeover by the Taliban but has a charge d’affaires in the country while it continues its humanitarian aid to the country. Most recently, it sent a train carrying aid for Afghan towns affected by devastating floods. Earlier this month, Türkiye’s flagship carrier, Turkish Airlines (THY), relaunched flights to Kabul after three years.

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