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Travel between Turkey and Georgia now passport-free
1.       tunci
7149 posts
 31 May 2011 Tue 04:50 pm

Travel between Turkey and Georgia now passport-free

31 May 2011, Tuesday / TODAYSZAMAN.COM,

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was welcomed on Tuesday by Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili at Batumi Airport

Turkey and Georgia took their visa-free travel policy a step further on Monday, initiating a passport-free travel regime under which their nationals will be able to visit each other´s country with national identity cards alone.

The beginning of the new travel regime coincided with a visit by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Georgia. He had talks with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili in Batumi and the two later attended a ceremony for the opening of the modernized customs gate at the Sarp border crossing.

By implementing a passport-free travel regime at the Sarp border gate -- through which approximately 2 million people pass each year -- the traffic at the gate will also be eased. It is the main gate between the two neighbors and accounts for almost 90 percent of road transport between the two countries. Turkey and Georgia lifted visa requirements for their nationals in 2009.

On Tuesday, the two countries also witnessed the first direct flight between Ankara and Batumi. An Anadolu Jet plane took off at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning from Ankara Esenboğa Airport and landed in Batumi at 11:40 a.m. Anadolu Jet is a subsidiary of Turkey´s national carrier, Turkish Airlines (THY), and primarily offers domestic flights at more economical prices than THY.

THY executives and journalists were on the first Anadolu Jet direct flight from Ankara to Batumi. The passengers were welcomed by Levan Varshalomidze, chairman of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara in southwestern Georgia, and Levent Burak, Turkey´s ambassador in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.

Speaking before their meeting, Erdoğan and Saakashvili both welcomed the introduction of direct flights and said they would further strengthen tourism between the two countries.

Immediately following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Turkey recognized the independence of Georgia, on Dec. 16, 1991, and on May 21, 1992, the Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the two countries was signed.

Bilateral ties between the two countries are solid. The two countries offer a visa exemption for touristic purposes to each other´s citizens of up to 90 days, jointly use the Batumi Airport and implement a free-trade agreement.

Note : I think its a good news..

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