On August 2, 2020, Kun.uz published an article “More than 40 citizens of Uzbekistan missed charter flights from Istanbul to Tashkent”. It reported that charter flights of Turkish Airlines en route “Istanbul-Tashkent-Istanbul” were organized on July 16 and 30 this year, but 11 people from the first flight, 31 people from the second flight, a total of 42 people, missed the plane with their tickets in their hands.
In this regard, the Consulate General of Uzbekistan in Istanbul published its comments on the article on its Telegram page. We would like to bring it to your attention below.
“According to a report of some mass media, a total of 42 Uzbek passengers missed charter flights operated by Turkish Airlines on July 16 and 30. In that regard, we would like to announce the followings.
On July 16 this year, the remaining 12 citizens were not included in the list formed for the flight. According to its regulations, instead of passengers who did not arrive 1.5 hours prior to the flight, Turkish Airlines sold tickets to other passengers who were not on the list. In this case, the citizen who bought a ticket could get on board without any problems if he provided the necessary documents and quickly crossed the border. Unfortunately, citizens who bought tickets without being registered were found to have violated the rules of stay in Turkey while crossing the border, and appropriate administrative measures were taken against them. As a result, they were unable to catch the charter flight on time and the plane took off in accordance with the set schedule.
A similar situation was observed during the July 30 flight. It should be noted that foreigners violating the visa regime of the Republic of Turkey are summoned to the Turkish Migration Board (viza ihlali ofisi) while crossing the air border and are interviewed there. Here, offenders are offered to pay the appropriate fines voluntarily. Offenders who refuse to pay the fine will be subject to administrative liability, including a ban on entering the territory of Turkey for a certain period of time. It will take some time to complete these administrative measures.
Currently, Istanbul International Airport is operating normally and there are long queues at the Migration Board’s office. During the pandemic, the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Turkey and the Consulate General in Istanbul sent appeals to the Turkish side to provide practical assistance in resolving visa issues of our citizens. In turn, the Turkish Foreign Ministry positively considered the appeal of the Uzbek authorities and said that no administrative liability will be imposed on our citizens, who violated the rules of stay in Turkey due to the situation caused by quarantine measures. At the same time, fines continue to be imposed on those who violate Turkey’s visa regime in the run-up to the declaration of the pandemic in accordance with current tariffs.
Considering the current situation, we ask our citizens registered for charter flights to arrive at Istanbul International Airport early so that they can cross the border in a timely manner. This is because if you are found to have violated the rules of stay in Turkey while crossing the air border, the Turkish migration officials will take appropriate administrative measures against you.
We would also like to inform our citizens who come to the airport and buy a ticket 1.5 hours before the charter flight without registration that you are not guaranteed to fly to the country. Because if it is identified that you have violated the rules of stay in Turkey, it is impossible to complete the administrative measures and get on board within 1.5 hours. Turkish migration officials will not allow you to cross the border without completing administrative offense measures, regardless of the time of your ticket and flight.
It should be noted that the Consulate General is taking appropriate measures to repatriate our citizens who missed the July 16 flight, providing them with appropriate consular-legal assistance. At present, we are in contact with our citizens who missed the July 30 flight, and in the coming days we will ensure their return to our country on charter flights,” the statement reads.
Reportedly, a total of 4,343 Uzbeks have been repatriated from Turkey so far due to the worsening epidemiological situation in the world. In particular, 329 passengers were returned to Uzbekistan on July 16 and 278 passengers – on July 30 via “Istanbul-Tashkent” charter flights.