The Russian Embassy in Turkey has posted recommendations for transit travelers on its website

Russian Embassy in Turkey: there is no clear reaction to the non-admission of Russians to transit flights

Посольство России в Турции разместило на сайте рекомендации транзитным путешественникам

The Russian Embassy in Turkey has so far “not received a clear reaction” from the Turkish side on the problem of non-admission of some Russian citizens on transit flights to Latin American countries.”Indeed, in recent weeks there have been cases when Russian citizens who transit through Istanbul airports to Latin America are denied boarding a flight. At the same time, it happens that airline employees do not behave quite correctly. There is a problem, and the problem is serious. Moreover, it is unclear to us how much the Turkish authorities are aware of its seriousness. The Russian Consulate General in Istanbul drew the airline’s attention to the unhealthy situation. The Embassy, for its part, appealed to the Turkish Foreign Ministry both in writing, that is, by an official note, and orally. A clear reaction has not yet been received,” the diplomatic mission said. The embassy noted that the Turkish side “gives various reasons, but basically it all boils down to the fact that the countries of destination allegedly established strict rules for the admission of Russian citizens to their states.”Turkish Airlines continues to deploy Russian tourists who are trying to get to Mexico through Istanbul. One of the latest cases occurred on April 16 – more than 10 Russian citizens, including one tourist with a dog, were removed from flight TK 182 to Mexico City. “We checked in, our luggage was accepted, but when boarding began, our coupons were simply crossed out and sent to a special counter to sort it out,” one of the tourists shared on social networks. At the claims desk, where, by the way, there was a decent queue, they did not help – the plane flew away without the Russians. But they explained: the airline is not to blame, contact “a certain security person” who allegedly banned the flight. The passengers were told the name of this man and his phone number was written. However, security’s calls did not help – he did not answer the phone. The tourists spent the whole night searching for luggage, and then flew home. The money for the flights to Mexico was not refunded to the passengers. “We had families with children with us, just couples, single tourists. That is, it did not depend on the status of the tourist, it was just our Russian passport that decided everything. It’s better not to take risks, but hand over your tickets,” the author of the message urged. A similar story happened last Friday: several Russians were not allowed on a plane from Istanbul to Cancun. Among them was a resident of St. Petersburg, who flew to Mexico specifically for Madonna’s concert. Before boarding, as eyewitnesses said, a woman with a Gozen Security badge approached all passengers, divided the queue, and then crossed out boarding passes to the Russians. Neither return tickets nor hotel reservations helped the Madonna fan. Other tourists, explaining the reason for the refusal of departure, were told: “You have too little travel history.”According to some information, several hundred Russian citizens have been removed from flights from Istanbul to Mexico since the beginning of the year. The reason, according to experts, is that the airline has a fear that tourists will turn out to be migrants and use Mexico as a transit point to get to the United States. The cost of a return ticket, if the traveler is deployed by the migration service, must be paid by the carrier.Earlier, three Russians who bought a tour to Cancun for several million rubles were not allowed to enter Mexico from Istanbul. The Space Travel tour operator intends to file a claim against Turkish Airlines. 
The Russian Embassy in Turkey reported that in connection with the current situation, it will be “forced to publish on its information resources on the morning of April 23 a set of recommendations for Russian citizens who are subjected to infringement of their rights at Turkish airports.”The Embassy posted today on its website “Recommendations to Russian citizens traveling in transit through Istanbul to Latin American countries” :
The Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Turkey and other Russian consular offices abroad are forced to state that Turkish Airlines, in particular, its representative office in Istanbul, despite our repeated appeals, continues the practice of refusing Russian passengers traveling in transit through Istanbul to Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Panama and several others) boarding flights.At the same time, the airline’s employees either do not provide any clear explanations of the reasons for the refusal, or refer to the rules of entry established by the specified states. In particular:- the passenger has a single/through ticket booking number (PNR) on the round–trip route (for example: Moscow – Istanbul – Sao Paulo – Istanbul – Moscow); – the passenger has a confirmation of the hotel reservation, as well as credit cards and cash; – no differences between flight dates and hotel booking dates;- implementation of a transit flight within Latin American countries for no more than 24 hours;- the passenger has luggage in addition to hand luggage;- the passengers who indicated the purpose of the trip “education, work, etc.” have the appropriate supporting documents (must be notarized and translated into English);- the passenger’s willingness to give clear answers to questions about the purpose of the trip;  – the presence in the airline’s system of the so–called “okey to board” – confirmation received by the airline from the country of destination. Representatives of the airline claim that the relevant requirements are posted on its official website and potential customers have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with them.We confirm that this is indeed the case – this information is available in English and Turkish. However, despite our urgent requests, the airline has not yet posted a translation into Russian on its website. According to the information we receive, during the proceedings with Russian citizens who were denied boarding flights to Latin America, representatives of Turkish Airlines do not give any written explanations about the reasons for what is happening, and sometimes they behave frankly incorrectly.The situation is complicated by the fact that employees of Russian consular offices abroad still do not have the right to enter the transit “clean” zone of Istanbul airport and, accordingly, are deprived of the opportunity to carry out their duties on the spot to protect the rights and interests of citizens of the Russian Federation. In the current situation, we are forced to recommend the following procedure to Russians who are denied boarding by the specified airline.- Immediately contact the Consulate General of Russia in Istanbul by emergency telephone number +90 (530) 941-03-68 and e-mail and report the incident.- Send a written request to the airline to obtain documentary confirmation of the fact of refusal to board the flight, if possible, indicating its reasons.- Take measures to objectively record the relevant case (video and photography, recording a conversation with airline representatives).- File a lawsuit, at the applicant’s place of residence, against the airline with a request for compensation for material and moral damage caused by the actions of the air carrier (filing a lawsuit in a Turkish court against the national air carrier Turkish Airlines, apparently, has no prospects).”The main thing is that we have to advise our citizens to carefully weigh the expediency of using the services of this airline,” the embassy said.

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